The ground smoldered for weeks after the fire. My parents’ farm in South Africa and the entire landscape around it had changed overnight. All that remained was the house and a few blackened trees. As I looked out over the ash-covered land, the sight was heartbreaking. How could this place recover? But then the rains came. As the earth cooled, tiny shoots pushed up between the ash, and within weeks green patchy grass covered the ground. Although altered forever, the farm was alive again. Many trees were lost in the blaze, but some struggled back to life. Soon the mangoes and lemons ripened once more, as delicious as ever.
As you look ahead to a new year, perhaps you feel as if your life is like that lifeless, scorched landscape. Maybe the events of the past year have left you feeling drained, and you can’t imagine how you could ever recover, let alone thrive again.
The beauty of a landscape may fade with the changing of the seasons or be transformed by ravaging flames. Circumstances may leave us bruised and broken. But we can be confident in what Isaiah wrote: “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
The promise of the presence of God with us gives us great hope (Isaiah 40:3-5; Hebrews 13:5). God not only created us, He also sustains, carries, holds, and leads us (Isaiah 40:10-11). “He never grows weak or weary. . . . He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless” (Isaiah 40:28-29).
Lift up your weary head and put your hope in God. For “those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Taken from “Our Daily Journey”