Faith: I lift up my eyes
Salvation comes from the father
I recently returned from a trip to the Boundary Waters. While there, I noticed that one of the lakes and the surrounding area had suffered destruction from a recent wildfire.
I also noticed that in the midst of the scorched rocks and limbless trees there was something growing - a purple flowering plant known as fireweed.
After doing some research, I discovered that fireweed grows after wildfires have destroyed the landscapes in order to save the soil from washing or blowing away. This purple plant not only saves the soil, it also nourishes the wildlife who eat it.
The story also goes that fireweed can forecast the start of winter, for it blooms from the lower stalk, moving toward the top. When the last flower at the top blooms, six weeks remain before winter begins.
"I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2)
We all experience times when we feel that everything in our lives and world is being destroyed.
Perhaps we receive bad news about our health, we lose a job or experience financial troubles. We struggle with food scarcity, or a loss of a loved one.
Where do you turn when everything around you has you feeling like you are in sinking sand?
"Jesus says, come to me those that are weary and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
Jesus also says: "Remember I am with you always to the end of the ages." (Matthew 28:20)
Like fireweed, which appears after major destruction to the land, holding not only the soil together but nourishing the wildlife, God also holds us together and nourishes us through his son Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit that resides in each and every one of us.
God does not abandon us, but gives us strength to get through what we are facing; God provides stable ground when everything else is sinking around us.
God is there to hear our cries, anger, frustration and tears, providing comfort, love, forgiveness, grace and understanding.
We just need to look around to see where God has been in our lives. He is the flower among the destruction; the kind words of the stranger, a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on.
God is there through the people who are his hands and feet in this world.
Drew Bakken is senior pastor at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa.