It has been like watching a wild roller coaster gone amok, jumping the track destroying acres upon acres of Colorado’s hills, meadows and mountains. Well over 100,000+ acres in Colorado has been burned in the last two to three weeks. We know that the forest trees with the pine beetle kill needs to be consumed for a regeneration process to take hold and bring new growth. But, it is difficult to watch what we loved changed, to make way for the new, and for new growth to take place.
Yet, it is in the aftermath of lost homes and our beautiful Rockies that grips the heart, and wears down the spirit when one has to watch it all reduced to ashes and cinder. Whether it is someone’s primary residence, a cabin, or a quiet little camping refuge nestled among the pines, cedars and firs, atop the mountain peaks, it was ‘home,’ before the fire.
It is hard to financially and materially rebuild what has been lost. Rebuilding after a fire is difficult, or maybe even impossible to the average homeowner with a mortgage. It can never look the same, feel the same or hold the same memories as the one they had before. Still, one has to start over, somewhere and begin to heal. Lives lost, however cannot be replaced. A beloved pet that could not be taken, or died as a result of the fire can neither be replaced.
It is when these storms in life come and take from us what cannot be replaced that leaves one feeling the hopelessness and despair. It leaves one often wondering, What else is there out there that God or man can take from me when I have lost it all?
I do not believe it is God’s will to purposely take from us what he has given us, or blessed us with. But, when disasters come for those who do not know him there is a void He wants to fill that cannot be destroyed. It is what, and Who we hold in our heart that carries us through those times and storms like none other.
God does not dwell in a house of mortar or stone, but in a heart made pliable by the potter’s hands.
This earth is not our home, but a temporary dwelling place.
In Acts 7:48-50, Stephen, one of the apostles defended the gospel of Jesus Christ, replying to the Jewish Sanhedrin who accused him of blasphemy, and disobedience to the Jewish law.
“The Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord. ‘Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’”
Stephen was stoned to death for his defense of the gospel, but the gospel lived on and lives on today. God becomes our refuge through the gift of His son, Jesus Christ. When storms come, and fires rage we have that assurance that though we may lose our earthly home it is in Him we dwell, and there is no destroying that. Sometimes, it is during these times that God wants to make new what needs to be changed.