Beauty from Ashes

Yesterday was my first official day of working for myself, and guess what I did? I went for a hike, worked on flags, and went to a Padres game: three things I wouldn’t’ve been able to do at my old job…oh, and I drove through traffic, but that was a perk at my old job every day, and believe it or not, the traffic was amazing.

As I was bumper to bumper on the highway, I knew I didn’t have to “be” anywhere at a certain time, so there was no stress. It took me over an hour to get up to San Marcos, but during that time, I had an amazing time with God, so every minute was worth it, and the hike was absolutely gorgeous.

Since I had been fasting since Friday, I wasn’t sure how my body would react to the hike, but I felt amazing…wasn’t hungry at all. Besides, God had told me to break my fast with “Daniel,” which was the name of the friend I was hiking with, so it wasn’t time to eat yet, and this hike had so much beauty from so many ashes, food was just an afterthought.

Last year, a fire had stormed through the area and had scorched a lot of nature, but when you’re deeply rooted, ALL life won’t be taken from you…only some. What used to be trees (or bushes) was still standing, only charred black, and out from the ground were sprouting the most beautiful plants and flowers, almost more beauty for the soul to take in. I didn’t have my phone, so hopefully, you get the picture.

We were on the trail, amazed at the life that was growing around something that seemed so dead…sound familiar? As we look back at our lives, many of us would see, at least, one reason why we shouldn’t be breathing (for some of us, there were many times we should’ve been dead), and despite the wild fire that scorched through us, we grew. Is there a root of God deep down inside of everyone? I believe there is.

I don’t believe we’re the walking dead, until we meet Jesus. I believe that, when God knit each one of us together, He placed a root of His heart inside of us. That’s why, without Him, there was always that void, always something missing, but as we yielded to Him, we were made complete. He designed us to crave Him, His nature, His divine Spirit, so that we would stay in communion with Him all the time, but sometimes, we don’t satisfy that craving and are led astray.

When we surrender to Him and spend time in His word, He waters that root , and beauty comes to life…grows without limit. If you’ve never said ‘yes’ to Jesus, He’s calling you. If you’re trapped in a prison, He’s calling you. If you’re sulking in the ashes, He’s calling you. FREEDOM: in the midst of this beauty, that’s what we were praying over San Diego County yesterday, and that’s His desire for each and every one of us.

I spent many years in church and had no idea what freedom was, but now that I know, you’ll never see me back in prison. Are you free? If not, you WILL be.

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