I have been so heavy hearted over the devastation the wild fires have caused in Colorado. Over the last 17 years I have had the pleasure of spending time in Ft. Collins every other year. I found this part of the country to have a unique beauty all it’s own. Breathtaking. I can’t imagine how those who live in the area and who have been affected by it must feel.
Thousands have lost everything. Lives have been changed forever. Many more thousands have been living with a sense of dread for weeks. The fear and anxiety over not knowing if you are going to be affected must be so intense. They are weary and drained from worry.
Hurting parents suffer in many of the same ways. Fear of the unknowns and the what-ifs. Being completely powerless to stop destruction from heading your way, harming your family, changing your life. Having no control or ability to stop something so potentially devastating is horrifying. That is exactly what it feels like when drugs, alcohol, self harm, eating disorders, mental illness, a gay lifestyle or promiscuity threaten to devastate your child’s life . . . and yours, too.
The formerly beautiful landscape of Colorado will never be the same. It has been irreversibly marred.
But . . . new life will return. Homes can be rebuilt. Grass, flowers, shrubs and trees will gradually grow again. I have seen pictures of lush landscape that has returned after the devastation of a fire. It is amazing how life can flourish again even after a devastating event has occurred. It seemed like the fire brought forth even greater beauty. Of course it takes a long, long time for trees to grow back like they were. Many things can be restored, but some things never will be the same. Hmmmm . . .
If we let him, God can bring new life, even beauty, from the devastation of being caught in the wild fire of being a hurting parent. He has the power and ability to restore what appeared to be destroyed, even though some things may never be the same. I have seen this in my life. I have been changed in many ways, but new life and even beauty has come forth from the ashes of what appeared to be total devastation.
I had to grieve the losses. Accept that some things would take years to be restored and others would never be replaced. I had to hold on to hope when all I could see was fire, when all I could smell was smoke, when all that was left was ashes.
Thank you God, for hope. It’s in you and you alone.
A Bible verse that helps me hold on to hope is: “Behold, I know the plans I have for you; plans for welfare and not for evil; to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)