'Tis the season for wildfires and so far we've come away unscathed. On the way to the grocery store, there are scars of fires that riddle my neighborhood. Once the fire was finally out, smoke hung in the heat of the day. It was enough to make your throat sore for days. As I drove by the blackened acres, it amazed me how much farther in to the brush you could see. Where one section was seemingly impassable by kudzu and palmetto, stark black trunks stood bare for any passerby to ogle at. After about a week, the remaining pine trees dropped their needles to the floor. A fine layer of brown seemed to carpet the charred ground.
The thing that always amazes me is after about three weeks the palmetto bushes begin to change. Before the fire, they were great green fans that sheltered animals and made any meandering through the woods very difficult. Afterwards, the plants trunks looked like writhing black snakes on the ground, easily stepped over. But give them three weeks or so, this seemingly dead plant sends out a flare of green. You see, the palmetto is very resilient and hard to kill.
It's a beautiful sight to see shots of green amongst the black. The green is so bright and sharp, it's almost as if someone tagged each plant with a garish green flag--the green flag of "Go!".
I wonder how many lives out there feel blackened and charred by a wildfire that Life has sparked. Do you only see the damage and ruin caused by words, abuse or natural disaster? The human soul is like a palmetto plant. Take time to mourn, to lay dormant and allow others to cloak you with comfort. But do not linger there because depression can set in and you will remain down, your growth stunted.
My God is in the renewal business. No matter how bad it gets, no matter how much you think you can't stand, He is there to comfort, restore and renew. Yes you will still have the scars of the past, but the new growth that comes will be like the new growth of a blackened palmetto. The contrast of life against death will cause others to stop and wonder--just who is this Jesus you believe in?