I am so glad to be back to my blog. It has been one wild and crazy summer, and it feels good to be back into a routine. We had so much fun seeing friends from Texas and Florida, and getting to show them the beauty of this amazing state.
The only negative about living here in August are the fires. Sometimes the air can get very thick with smoke, and you can’t see the mountains. It does not make you feel very well either. When we were first here I was heartbroken to see so much devastation from these fires.
During one of our trips to Yellowstone with 30+ kids we had two young ladies from the Forest Service come and speak. One girl spoke about bear safety, and the other was a wild fire firefighter. When the firefighter spoke she told us that many forests cannot survive without fire. Some pinecones grow tightly closed and the seeds are held within. When there is fire the pinecone heats up and opens then lets go of the seeds allowing the forest to be renewed. The old will die and the new will begin to grow.
This definitely gave me a new and appreciative understanding of the fires. Of course it also reminded me of how the Lord uses what we see as devastation in our life to bring restoration. When I am in the midst of a trial I find it hard to see what good will come from it. Just this week we faced a trial where there seemed to be no good outcome. A friend text me Isaiah 53 and it put so much in perspective. Nothing I go through can ever compare to what Jesus did for me and for you.
Jesus is the ultimate example of restoration. He came to Earth to live a difficult life, He was beaten and hung on a cross. No one in the crowd watching could have seen any hope in that situation. They did not see the three days later Jesus would return from the grave beyond restored. Praise be to God. He is the ultimate picture of devastation to restoration.
Isaiah 53 (NIV)
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
I encourage you to meditate on this scripture today. Ask God to reveal more of Himself to you through it. Thank Him for everything He has done for you.
'Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.' 2 Corinthians 13:11Click To Tweet