STEPPING OUT FROM THE ASHES
Recently, our neighbor’s house caught on fire. Flames shot from the roof, ashes were dispersed all over our yard; the entire roof was peeled back to reveal the inside. Fire destroys without regard to what is in its way. But – fire also purifies. Fire refines. It exposes weaknesses and removes flaws, and after it ravishes, reveals strength. The roof of the house is gone, but the foundation remained. The well-built portions still stood. The fire exposed the façade that was intended to ‘beautify’ the exterior. Beneath the peeled back, melted plastic siding lay another layer of cheap asbestos shingles, which after that burned away, revealed parts of the originally intended design of the home, which had been covered up over the course of a hundred years. Handmade intricate details - wooden shingles, unique patterns and shapes, reflective of century-old construction. Beautifully and carefully built with love.
As we go through fires in our life – through trials, temptation and failures – God desires to refine us. He desires to eliminate the seemingly beautiful, but plastic, façade we construct which covers up the originally intended design and purpose. Through Him, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-16)
After a fire, the ash that falls helps bring new life forth. It enriches the soil. The ashes that we leave behind serve as a somber reminder, but they also nurture our growth. We can spend our time focused on the ashes, on what was taken away, on the damage that remains – or we can rebuild on the foundation that is Christ, entrusting him to reconcile and restore.
Today, step out from the ashes. Trust Christ to restore your heart and mind, and rebuild again, squarely on Him.
Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. – 1 Peter 1:7 (MSG)