Mark Rackley asked if we made our way where the forest fires were a couple years ago. We haven’t gone to Gatlinburg this vacation but did stay there last year. Here is a repost of my observations of the fires and the reconstruction from last year.
Last week my family and I had the pleasure vacationing in Gatlinburg, TN. If you’re from the United States, you most likely heard of the tremendous wildfires that ripped through the Smokey Mountain areas in November of 2016.
Everywhere around us you could see the skeletons of trees dotted along the ridgeline of the mountains. It was visible just how close the fires got to the town.
As we got in the car each day and drove along the busy streets, my eyes were on the mountains and the numerous, earth moving machines sitting along the way.
Many times my husband would say, “It wasn’t a good thing for the people and businesses, but fires in forests are good. They kill out the overgrown, weedy areas and make way for new growth on the forest floor.” I didn’t see the new growth as I was so far away. I could only see what the fire had destroyed. I could see the charred black trees standing tall and ominous.
It reminded me of the goldsmith and his duty to purify gold and the process it takes. When I looked at the rebuilding the business were undergoing, I could see healing taking place.
All of this destruction and reconstruction got me thinking about my own journey; the fires caused by others and the fires caused by own actions. These experiences, if you will, stunted my maturity. I look back and see a child trapped in an adult body with no clue. Where other women alongside of me were growing and maturing, I was just there hanging, wondering where I fit in.
Jesus cleaned me up inside starting back in 2009. He got a hold of me and started a fire of His own in me; a healing work. Like how fire clears out the forest floor, He burnt out as much weeds and overgrown notions as possible, allowing new growth to come about in me. But if you look you’ll still see the trees of consequences, blackened and singed, in my life.
Julie Peters wrote a comment on one of my posts other day stating that God healed her enough….got me thinking. I questioned her on it; her reply was that if God were to heal her completely, she probably wouldn’t need Him as much and go about her merry way.
I am healed enough. You are healed enough. The very fact that God saved you and brought you into communion with Him is healing enough.
There will always be residual traces of past pains, hurts, let-downs and disappointments. There will be times of great triumphs; there will times of low defeats, but one thing rings true, He is with us determining our fate and how much healing is enough.
Hills and Valleys Lyrics
I’ve walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak
And I’ve seen the brighter days
And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place
And I have held Your blessings
God You give and take away
No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I’m standing in Your love
On the mountains I will bow my life to the One who set me there
In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone
You’re God of the hills and valleys, hills and valleys
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone
I’ve watched my dreams get broken
In You I hope again
No matter what
I know I’m safe inside Your hands
Father, you give and take away
Every retry and every pain
And with all you will remain
All for it all!