You’ve probably heard the age-old assurance that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. And you may have heard people quip, “I wish he didn’t think so much of me!” Like many of you, I’ve found myself on the list of top students, independent study, the intensive life course track.
Sometimes the challenges come a little hard and fast. And just when it seems there might be a respite, something else happens, and I look to heaven and say—dangerous words!—“What next, Lord? What haven’t I learned? What can you possibly still have in store?”
His loving, omnipotent response?
The Waldo Canyon fire. And while I know I need tempering, I must say this one shook me. Evacuated to my daughter’s house, I prepared myself to lose our home, neighborhood, and the beautiful mountains we live in that have been my heart place, a nearly daily communion with God where he has repeatedly revealed his mercy, grace, and delight in ways that enrich my life and my writing.
While many Mountain Shadows homes tragically burned, we learned with deep gratitude the houses in our neighboring Peregrine were saved. One of the firefighters said this was only because the wind died. Praise God who controls the wind!
Still, as we returned home, I prepared myself for Mordor, bald, black peaks and desolation. What I found was more like Hobbiton after the ruffians had their way. The slopes where I hike were like a mangy dog, bald in spots, scorched in others, yet much of it green as well.
But, there’s one place more than any other that feeds my soul: a tiny creek in a rocky valley with tall firs and aspen tucked between the steep slopes. For two days after we were allowed back, I watched smoke and even flames rising from the ridges and crevices just above our homes. Soon I couldn’t bear it. I took a trail and climbed, climbed and cried and laughed and shook my head. What a fickle fiend, fire is.
At last I approached that special place—and saw it. The creek bed and valley, green and unburned. Overwhelmed with grace, I laughed aloud. And all I can say is, “Wow, Lord. What next?”