Rising from the Ashes

“Get busy living…”

I haven’t yet sorted through the 2,700+ photos I took in The Land of the Midnight Sun. (Yes, it really was sunny at midnight… Weird!!! 🙂 ]

I finally got through the 250+ emails that were stacked up in my Inbox. Many were junkmail… some were treasures.

One treasure was sent to me on July 13. I remember that day well… I was sitting in a john boat in southwest Alaska, covered with five layers of clothing due to the cold temperature and torrential rains: Long johns, sweater, sweatshirt, fleece jacket, Gortex rain jacket… the “Pillsbury Dough Girl” in the flesh!!!  🙂300-320 vce  Others (the guys) may have laughed… but I was quite comfy. (Did I mention they were cold and miserable? HA!) Shall I thank You again, Lord… for the 1,000+ time?  🙂

Anyway… I didn’t read this “Treasure email” until yesterday, as I was stepping out of the “wilderness” after the wilderness. Your timing was perfect, of course… Imagine that! 🙂  Here is one excerpt from The Treasure, a short devotional called “Today I Will Make a Difference,” by Max Lucado:

“I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… I will get up. It’s OK to fail… I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.”

Yep… time to get busy living.

“I will rise again.”

I wrote yesterday about my expectation “crashing and burning”… about finding deep disappointment in the ashes. This morning, in rapid succession, You brought to my mind two images.

The first image was a Phoenix rising out of the ashes. According to my dear friend, Webster, a Phoenix (a symbol from Egyptian mythology) was a beautiful lone bird which lived in the Arabian desert for 500 or 600 years and then consumed itself in fire, rising renewed from the ashes to start another long life; it is used as a symbol of immortality.

But I know, by FAITH — “the certainty of what we do not see”  (Hebrews 11:1) — that the Power to “rise again” from the “ashes” of life (whatever expectations, hopes, plans or dreams may have “crashed and burned” around us) comes not from some mythical [fictitious, imaginary] bird… it comes only from You, Lord: The Truth.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”  (John 14:6)

So it was, that this morning’s second Gift from You was the image of a different bird… the Eagle. Hmm… Phoenix –> Eagle. Point –> Counterpoint. Lie –> Truth.3I0-012 vce Counterfeit –> The Real Deal.

“… those who hope [wait on, trust] in the Lord will [not “can” or “might,” but will] renew their strength. They will [not “can” or “might,” but will] soar on wings like eagles; they will [not “can” or “might,” but will] run and not grow weary, they will [not “can” or “might,” but will] walk and not be faint.”  (Isaiah 40:31, emphasis added)

Dusting off the ashes, soaring on Your Word…

Abba’s Girl, EIT (Eaglet in Training)

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