He has sent me to comfort those who are sad, those in Zion who mourn. I will take away the ashes on their head, and I will give them a crown. I will take away their sadness, and I will give them the oil of happiness. I will take away their sorrow, and I will give them celebration clothes. He sent me to name them ‘Good Trees’ and ‘The Lord’s Wonderful Plant.’ Then the old cities that were destroyed will be rebuilt. Those ancient ruins will be made new, as they were in the beginning. Isaiah 61:2b-4 (ERV)
My part of the country recently went through one of their infamous ice storms – rain, followed by freezing, followed by broken tree limbs and downed power lines. Many of the limbs on my own trees were bent or broken.
But something I noticed as I surveyed the damaged limbs on my trees. Amidst all this devastation, God had created beauty. Ice storms are dangerous and damaging, but they are also beautiful. Icicles, large and small, hung from undamaged limbs, reflecting the glow of the street lights or the faint circle of sun from the breaking clouds. God had painted trees and homes and outdoor furniture with a glistening coat of white and had captured His beauty in fingers of ice.
There is beauty, too, amidst the storm in your own life. That isn’t always easy to see. Sometimes all we see are the things that are broken and damaged. We don’t look at the things that are beautiful.
I know that his may be a very difficult time in your family. There may be a storm going on all around you, with mom or dad saying or doing things that leave you shaking your head. And the storm isn’t fun. But in this storm, there is beauty because of Jesus. He has called you to pray for your dad or you mom; to stand in the gap for them. He has touched and changed your heart, giving you unconditional love. He has showered you with His comfort and strength. He has captured the beauty of His Son in your heart.
Where do we get this strength to stand firm in the face of these storms and possibly cold hearts? We find it in Jesus. If we have sent down strong roots through faithful prayers for our family, then we can weather any storm the enemy wants to send our way. Through His Words in the Bible, we learn that no matter how fierce the storm, His promises are real and they are for us and for our families. He will help us stand strong. He will hold us up when we are bent and bowed. He will not let us be broken.
God is the one who gives me strength. He clears the path I need to take. He makes my feet as steady as those of a deer. Even on steep mountains he keeps me from falling. Psalm 18:32-33 (ERV)
Many of the tree limbs hung low in the yard, brushing against the grass, burdened by the heavy weight of the ice. Yet even with this burden that they carried, there was still beauty in the glistening icicles that reflected the light. Our families may be bent or even broken. But there is still beauty because we have the light of the Son that shines within us. We have His faithful promises.
“Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. No one will be able to stop you all your life. I will not leave you. I will never leave you alone.” Joshua 1:5 (ICB)
Once the weather warmed a bit, I could see that, although some of the limbs were damaged, my trees were still standing strong. They might not look the same, but they remained firmly rooted, and would once again serve me as welcome shade next summer. If we can stay firmly rooted, firmly grounded in God’s promises, then we, too, can weather any storm. And we, too, can find the beauty.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! Isaiah 52:7 (NLT)
Kim, a stander in Nebraska
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Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.