I pass over Salem Lake on my daily commute and I have watched with great interest the many changes taking place there. In March, workers began slowly draining the lake so they could replace the existing dam. When they did this, the landscape changed from a beautiful lake surrounded by trees, to an ugly, muddy pit. Now, the organically rich lake bed has begun sprouting new growth so the area resembles a brushy field with a small creek running through it. Once the workers complete the dam, that small creek will begin filling up the basin and before long, Salem Lake will be back to it’s previous state.
Watching this transformation has reminded me of the many changes that have taken place in my life over the years. God has allowed both tragedies and victories to change the landscape of my life. And, change (even good change) can be hard. But in the transitional times, we have to remember that the muddy pit we might find ourselves living in is not the end of the story. It is in these places that, with our permission, the Lord is preparing a rich soil in our hearts to grow new things. Isaiah 61 paints a beautiful picture of the Lord doing this for his people, here are a few of the verses:
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
Pray in these transitional times, in the times when the landscape of your life is changing that the Lord would come into your heart and plant new and beautiful things for his glory.