The Changing Landscape

 

desertflower

Most mornings I walk in the high desert. I’ve noticed that after one of our rare, but intense rains, the landscape of the trail changes dramatically.  Large rocks, previously hidden, are uncovered. Smaller rocks, washed down slopes, make the trail tricky to navigate. In some places fine sand washes down to cover the trail in a delightfully soft carpet.

Our interior landscape also changes when the storms of life descend on us. The loss of a loved one, a job loss, or the onset of a chronic illness, will forever alter the landscape of our lives.

Large boulders, those parts of us previously unexamined, can now surface. Our fears, insecurities, and stubborn bitter roots are exposed for all to see.

The rocks that cover the path are the myriad decisions we have to make after a huge storm. These take careful navigation at a time when emotional resources are low.

The soft sands are the unexpected graces that surprise us: the support of friends, the sudden brilliance of a sunset, or a double rainbow. These glimpses of beauty are reminders that we are not forgotten in our pain.

There is an equally evident landscape change in the desert after a storm, new life springs up almost at once. Desert flowers bloom afresh and small creatures, their numbers previously diminished by drought, are born in abundance.

This same hope of growth and life are ours in times of landscape renovation. They are a reminder of the God who is known for recycling ashes into beauty, turning mourning into joy, and exchanging the spirit of heaviness for garments of praise.

These are the markers of hope to look for as we walk the altered trail. What new insights will we receive? What new skills will we learn? What adventure is ahead…just around the bend?

 

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