For the last fifty-three days Reddingites have had to live with smoke obscured views and unhealthy to hazardous air quality (with occasional moderate air quality hours interspersed here and there). It is amazing how beautiful a blue sky with white clouds can be. Even the birds are coming back.
September 14th is a reminder that even though it might seem like the blue skies and fresh air are gone, they aren’t. High above the smoke they still exist, and eventually, that smoke comes to its end, and the blue skies and radiant sun reappear.
These last two months remind me of growing up in the Central Valley. The tule fog could be so thick at times that you couldn’t see more than a few yards ahead of you and nothing at all above you. You felt locked in a misty cell. Yet, if you were to drive just a few miles up into the foothills, you would soon find yourself back in beautiful sunshine, a sea of foggy waves beneath you.
Sometimes our lives take on that same thick opaqueness. Our struggles envelope us, and we just can’t see any blue skies. We feel that God is very far away because God’s love and involvement are obscured by our problems, but in reality He is still very much there and very much involved. He hasn’t moved.
Since September 14th Redding residents have still had to cope with some smoke, but the blue skies are still visible, and life is returning to normal. Likewise, our life’s struggles and trials are for a season, and the God who has never left us has promised to help and restore us.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
(I Peter 5:10 NKJV)