I looked out my kitchen window and like a wall – the thick smoke was drifting towards us. The largest wildfire in Kansas history was raging on thirty miles away and even we were feeling the effects. Almost a half of a million acres have burned and people have lost their homes, equipment, and cattle. Countless firefighters have worked around the clock to tirelessly attempt to control the blaze, with no help from the high winds we have continued to have.
Through this time my social media is blown up with friends and family who are directly affected by this fire, and one of the most amazing things I have witnessed is the love pouring out of them. I think God brought us to our knees with this fire to bring us back together. Sometimes we need a reminder, and He always has a greater plan than we could know. Through all of the damage that this fire has done, there has not been a single human life lost. There have been donations for miles flowing in for our fellow farmers and ranchers to help them in this time of need. Truckload after truckload of hay has been brought in to feed wandering cattle, countless meals have been delivered to workers and evacuees, volunteers doing anything they can to help, and a huge community of people that have come together as one to support each other even if only in prayer.
Then, on Easter Sunday, we all woke up to a freshly fallen wet snow. Our God is great. On the day that Jesus arose from the grave, washed our sins away, and made us whiter than snow, God provided in a way that only He can. A gift from heaven, He has saved us from the fire in more ways than one. The fire burns on, but now more controlled, and what once was miles of black is covered in a layer of beautiful, serene white. The snow will melt off and the charred ground will produce a fresh, green, beautiful blanket of grass. It is impossible for us to wrap our minds around this last week. There are a lot of metaphors in the bible, and I believe God uses metaphors everyday to show us the way. If that wasn’t a giant metaphor from God, then I don’t know what is.
Part of the reason I love living in a farming and ranching community is the attitudes of the people. Even those that have lost everything they owned are praising God! These people trust in his plan and know that no matter what, He is and will always be good. When I look at our farm and the big picture of it, I realize just how much we have to put our faith and trust in God. We absolutely couldn’t do it without Him. Everything we depend on to grow a crop comes from him. We pray for the right amount of rain, and the right weather, and for the safety of our family while harvesting. The last few years the weather hasn’t been what we hoped, and the crop prices have been very low making it hard for a family to make ends meet. My family still thanks God for what he has provided for us and his blessings, even though of course we would like to see some of our burdens lightened.
So to imagine these friends and neighbors who are going through something that I can’t even imagine and are still praising Him and saying He is good, absolutely fills my heart. These people don’t know God’s plan and what he has in store for them next. They are just trusting in Him to lead the way. What an amazing example that we have to look up to. This Easter weekend is one that will forever be carved into my head. To see God’s goodness and grace in action in such a big way is something I will never forget.