“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3 KJB
August 20 and 21, 1910 – It was two days of darkness and ashes. A forest fire raged across three million acres of virgin timberland in northern Idaho and western Montana.
It burned tress, houses and lives were lost. It was the largest forest fire in American history, and maybe the largest forest fire ever recorded. No one knows for sure, but even now, it is hard to put into words what it did. The people who experienced it thought the world would end.
All of us experience forest fires in our stories. It’s a dark, lonely and unsettling experience that we dare not have. It entails dreams and promises burned into ashes. Be it because of rejection, loss or disappointment, it brings us a sense of hopelessness and uncertainty.
It would appear that the fire, like our own trials, would have the last word, but it does not. As part of nature’s way of healing, most of what was burned black in that forest turned green again. Beautiful wildflowers sprouted and that forest was reborn. It’s the same way with our lives.
You see, God is the Champion at bringing people from a place of destruction to a place of total victory. In Him we will find hope and the certainty that all things will work out together for our good just because He loves us. All we need is to trust and believe.
Like that forest set on fire, watch out for the beautiful wildflowers to return in the ashy soil of what was lost in your life. Soon enough, that forest will come back to life as there will be new life brought back to the blackest parts of our own branches.