Renee is one of those people who can dance in the rain, if you know what I mean. She seems to meet her challenges head on and she has what it takes to get through them. She's smart and kind and I always enjoy talking with her.
Her most recent challenge was a fire in her condominium building. I saw the report on television, most of her friends did. And we all worried and wondered how our friend was making out.
In true Renee form, she made it through.
While at dinner a few days ago, she told me about how she was displaced for a few weeks, and how grateful she was to the friend she stayed with. She said that she now knows more about fire safety that she ever thought she'd need to know and how she'll have a "ready kit" in place just in case something like that should ever happen again.
Then we went a little deeper into our discussion.
Renee told me that the fire may have happened because God needed to destroy some things, to temporarily displace some people so that He could begin something new.
Speaking figuratively, of course, but we discussed the fact that maybe God wanted to shake things up, to adjust the location of some minds and feelings, rearrange some emotions so that changes would occur.
Maybe He needed to ready the ground with the power of some fresh ashes.
You know that when something is burned, the residue left is the ash. So most fires produce ashes.
Some people discard the ashes, but if you add them to your garden, you'll change the pH balance of your soil. Pests that used to hang around will no longer find a welcomed home there. The right kind of ashes provide your garden with the nutrients it needs to grow -- and you'll often grow things that were before impossible to grow or maintain.
Now, apply this to your life.
Although our fires may not be the kind that Renee experienced, consider your fire as a challenge you've faced. The death of a family member, friend or friendship, a divorce, the loss of a job, they're all fires that get our attention and leave "ashes" behind in the aftermath.
In those ashes, lies the power to change the atmosphere of your life. Your pH balance, if you will, is adjusted so that new experiences can blossom and old "pests" (like worry, doubt, fear, even some people) can no longer survive.
Thanks to the ashes, we're able to GROW like never before, enlarge our territories, and find that we can try and accomplish things previously thought impossible.
Isn't it great to know a God who can take residue from a fire and make something promising and new? He never ceases to amaze me.
What are you doing with YOUR ashes?
Thanks, Renee, for helping me to see the power in our ashes.