Beauty From Ashes

My family has rented a condo on the beach every summer for the last few years, and I’m so thankful we’re able to do that. It’s got an ocean view, and we have a screened-in lanai that opens right off the living area. #blessedandthankful

There’s also a gazebo out past the dunes right on the beach with an unobstructed view of where sand and sea meet in the crashing surf. It’s my favorite spot to sit with my Bible and my tea in the mornings.

Just as I was about to head out the door for the 1-minute walk down to the gazebo, I thought I heard thunder. I looked out the window, and sure enough it was starting to rain. Boy was I glad I stayed in bed 15 minutes before I got up or I’d have been caught in it for sure.

Did I mention that the weather app said 0% chance of rain? Zero. Percent. Chance. Of. Rain.

I love the screened in lanai for eating and playing games with the kids in the evenings (no bugs 🙂 ). During the day, I like the open view from the gazebo. But today, with the storm, the lanai was my only option if I wanted to be outside.

As I sat behind the screen, I got to see the most beautiful electrical storm out over the ocean. The streaks of lightning were stunning, reaching from sky to sea. And the thunder sounded absolutely amazing, booming and echoing off the water. I’ve never heard thunder sound quite like that. And I could see the rain falling in sheets out over the ocean as the storm rolled toward the shore. It was quite a beautiful sight.

It’s not how I wanted to start my day, stuck on the lanai behind a screen, but I had no choice. I had to adapt. Change my plan. It was a small thing. I mean, really, if my only hardship this week was having my morning devotions rained out and relocated, it’s still a pretty good week.

But it did get me thinking. Sometimes the same thing happens in life. We make all these plans. Good plans. Plans we thought through and prayed out. And then a huge storm rolls in that no one predicted. It wasn’t even on the radar.

Instead of just going about life as planned, we’re having to make the best of something we didn’t want – the loss of a job or spouse or child. The market crashes and we lose it all. Bankruptcy. A bad report from the doctor.

Instead of sunshine and blue skies, we have lightning and thunder and sheets of rain. Instead of the view we wanted, we’re stuck behind a screen or a window or a door.

Although I wouldn’t have wanted to be out there in it, it was quite beautiful to watch the storm roll in and roll past from the safety of my screened-in porch.

When the lightning and thunder of life are cracking and booming all around us, we have a safe place to hide. A place to take shelter. He’ll hide us in his goodness and His presence until it passes.

If you’re in a storm, run to the shelter. Live there. Abide there. That’s where we can safely watch the storm until the sun shines again, and the sun will shine again. And if we look close enough, we’ll be able to see something beautiful even in the storm because He works all things together for our good…because He makes everything beautiful in its time. Trust Him.

He brings beauty from ashes and joy from the pain.

He can make roses come from the rain.

And He knows my name.

–Mikel Lagaras (Beauty in the Broken from I Stand Amazed)

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