I blew up my FB (well … for me, 50 likes is “blowing up”) with photos of this sunset.

The sky has been stunning this summer. The angels in charge of nature seem to have kicked in a little encouragement in the midst of the heavy year that humans are having. “Let’s add a little extra spice at the end of the day. Give people a little reminder that God still makes beautiful things.”

I’ve had to remind myself though, that there is a price for beauty. These sunsets we’ve been having remind me of a sober truth … ashes often lead to beauty.

This sunset didn’t randomly happen. It was the result of a fire. Acres of land were burned, yet resulted in this spectacular view.

The dust of harvest and the smoke of an-out-of-control fire north and west of us … sweat, toil, and ashes … that’s where this beauty came from.

There is a price for beauty … or better put … there is a reward for the dirt and the pain and the grime of the hard stuff in in my life.

 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

Psalm 19:1

I don’t know about you, but there are days when I feel like I’m suffocating from the smoldering flames of the world as it used to be just a short moment ago. And my heart grows heavy, because truthfully there are things in my life that needed to burn, that were going to wither and fade away anyway. But I had so much energy invested in them … hope, even. I feel like Habukkuk in the Old Testament. He cries out in raw frustration … how can God be allowing the world to self-destruct right in front of him?

The year 2020 has been my reminder that it’s time to make sure my life isn’t set up on slippery sand, but that I’m built into that solid rock of Jesus. (Matt. 7:24-27). It’s been a wake up call that to focus on what is temporary … on what makes me feel good in the moment … and then to be upset when stormy times come is to distort God.

By the way, have you ever tried to build something on rock? It’s impossible. How do I dig into a rock? I don’t … it’s too hard!

That’s the beauty of it … I don’t have to. I’m simply asked to trust the God of the Impossible (Matt. 19:26, Mark 10:27) and follow His directions. Then …

Then … watch impossible things like fires and smoke become symbols of hope and beauty.

Dear Christ-Follower,
Don’t lose heart when it seems like everything is either burning up or blowing up in your life and in the world around us. The Father, a master craftsman, is far from finished. He is making something hopeful … something inspiring … out of the situation. Something in which other worn out souls will be able to look and see His signature. Remember that the Lord’s two favorite ingredients in the recipes of our life is “time” and “love”. Allow Him the time to work His purposes, while staying committed to prayer, no matter how dark the smoke temporarily makes the view. You are never forgotten by our Heavenly Father.

Thank you that you are the Author of my life. Thank you that You describe all things formed and shaped by Your hands and breath as good … even very good.

I ask that You help me find the courage to stay on the path of Your truth … even when everything seems to be smoldering around me. Help me to remember always that Your word is filled with power and will bring life-giving results … even laced with true beauty.

Help me to let go of the things in this world that amount to nothing … that are enticing on the outside but bankrupt inside. Forgive me for building my life on stuff instead of building it into You.

Thank you for sunsets … and … for sunrises.

You are worthy.

Thank you for reading Rashellbud. You may also enjoy my second blog … it’s all about the harrowing details of adjusting to rural living after four decades of life in the greater Seattle area. Actually … it’s very laid back … like our new life. However … we sure picked a crazy time in history to make that shift.

You can read more at www.smallstuffliving.home.blog.

Reminder: all photos are property of this blog and of Sausmus Photography. Thanks! Cheers … Shelly