Archive for the ‘High Park’ Tag

Not My Dwelling Place

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.

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COPING WITH REALITY – The wildfires in northern Colorado

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Coping with reality is often one of the most difficult things to do. One can only wish it was fiction, like the fiction I have written and shared on this blog site. But, life happens. Not all of it pretty. Not all of it sane. And in the aftermath of destruction, or chaos to see if there was any good that came from it maybe depends on one’s perspective. But, when we cannot see any, God can, and the future beyond it, if we believe there is a reason and purpose in His plan.

I will use the illustration of an event happening this week where  my husband and I, and our family live. Wildfire, the worst our county has ever seen has been raging through our region and mountains here in northern Colorado. We have waited through this entire week to see if the fires would spread further, hoping it would be contained. We remain hopeful that beauty will come forth from the ashes and embers burning our beloved Rockies. This is one of those difficult things to deal with, as I hope and pray for the rain to come and a rainbow to burst through the smoke-filled skies with a promise that God will bring new growth, lush  green trees, tall and erect, to our spacious beautiful mountains again. Colorado is my birthplace, a place I have always felt my true home although I have lived in other states and regions.

The devastating pine beetle infestation on the trees and their destruction is the only good thing I can think of that is the good to come from the fires. But, the destruction of homes and property where people have built their lives, raised families, or even just taken their families to picnic, camp out, climb a peak, or take a rafting trip down the Cache La Poudre River may be but only memories pushed back into history.

My husband and I own property in a part that sits in wait right now to see if it will be spared. We have had our lot in Glacier View Meadows for over twenty years now. Our grandchildren were just babies when we took them up there with us to enjoy the camp-out, campfires, smores, hikes, and family outings. The remains of five (dogs) of our family’s pets are even buried up on our lot. They all loved the wide open space, and roamed it, as did we all, enjoying Spring rains that preceded the blooming of beautiful wildflowers in the summer, strong winds that blew the smell of our fragrant Cedar trees, Douglass fir, and Ponderosa pines across the mountain’s landscape, and fresh, deep snows that promised a good supply of run off in our streams and rivers. It was ‘postcard’ picture perfect and we relished every picture of our secondary home and family refuge. Our collection of pictures and videos show it all the way it once was before the fire. But, the way we imagine it can look after the fire is one implanted in our minds and hearts we don’t want to keep, but have to cope with. It is reality.

So, we wait. And we keep praying: for the protection of the firefighters and rescue crews, for the wild life and animals, pets – large and small – to make it down and out of harms way, and for the homeowners’ homes to be spared. But, that is not the case as many have lost their homes in the fires. One life has been lost in the fire. We are thankful there has not been more. Homes can be rebuilt, new trees planted or regrown from seedlings popping up months later. But, there is no replacing a loved one lost, or a pet that lived a part of its life with one, now gone. 

Chaos, and catastrophic events ordained or allowed by God cannot be explained. One cannot know when to expect them, or even how to be prepared for them. But, we can be ready to go regardless our fate when we know the one who holds our destiny in His hands. It is ultimately in His control, and we must just deal with it, coping with it the best we can. I am thankful I know my Redeemer lives. It is what makes the coping with reality not easy, but more bearable. And it is with Him where I count it my real home, one day.

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