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Stronger Than Before

“To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.” Daniel 9:9

When I was young, my family took a family trip up to a mountain campsite. On the way, I loved driving through the vast woods, so green and full of life. One patch of land we drove through, however, looked so different it was frightening. Instead of leafy green trees, blackened trunks stood lifeless with no leaves at all. The ground beneath them was like parched coal.

“What happened here?” I asked my mum.

“A forest fire,” she answered. She must have noted my devastation at the scene we were driving through, so she added, “It won’t be like this forever. In fact, fires are good for the land. It makes the soil richer and once things begin to grow again here, they’ll be stronger than before.”

I tried to picture that, but it was nearly impossible for me to envision such a stark place full of life. Could it be true that the new life that would grow after such desolation would be better than before?

As I have grown and gone through some of my own ‘fires’, I realise that what my dad told me is a universal truth. Even when we rebel against God and cause the fires of our own decisions to devastate our lives, God uses it to strengthen the soil of our soul. He allows our hearts to be more fertile to His love and forgiveness. He enables our hearts to bloom with empathy, forgiveness and grace for others. Even after the ‘fire’, our lives can be stronger than before.

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