Fresh Hope – 7th August 2020

For things to be different, something has to change.

For most of us there’s something in our life we would like to change, be that big or small, but when change comes, we can have very different responses. For some, change can be seen as an opportunity, whatever that change may be. For others, change is something fought against in a will to keep things normal, especially when things change in a way we don’t expect.

The world changed this year. The world had to stop existing as it was. It’s not a thing that we’d ever have prayed for or imagined, but it changed and there were very mixed emotions about it. 

During lockdown many people have changed. The pace of life has changed, hobbies have changed, and priorities have changed.  At the start of lockdown, I was one of those who felt like it was going to put a halt on life rather than be a positive adjustment. However in lockdown my life has changed positively in many ways, including a miracle job change during a recruitment freeze. I’d never have expected significant life changes when the world seemed to be in such a bad way but the Bible tells us that beauty comes from ashes.

Last year, I went to Sicily and walked up Mount Etna. Although the surrounding views were lovely, the climb up Etna requires you to look down as the route is littered with volcanic boulders. Even though I felt like I was missing the views and staring at black ash for the afternoon, it forced my attention to the new life growing. Green plants emerged from the ash where a town once was. I was surprised to see flowers, trees and plants growing from the most desolate land. 

Volcanic soil is one of the most fertile soils, overflowing with nutrients to allow plants to thrive. For growth in this place, it took a change. It took everything to stop. It took the man-made element and human control to be halted to allow new life to grow.

Recently, normal routines for most of the world stopped.

In our lives, the things we have control over stopped. 

When things are wiped away, it leaves space for more things to grow. 

You may be facing a circumstance that looks like there is no hope; it may look desolate and lifeless when really it is a God-prepared ground. It is a ground cleared, overflowing with nourishment, ready to spring to life.  

Isaiah 61:3 promises us that God will bring beauty from ashes and bring joy instead of mourning. 

Fiona Geary

A daily devotion for a better way of living.