I remember as a boy walking the beach at Nags Head on a beautiful day after a major storm. Oh, the damage was present to the eyes. Debris from cottage damage sometimes landing on the beach, sea debris was also deposited and the beach was usually flatter and cut out in places and built up in others. But the sea itself was gorgeous as it cleared and I could think of no place at the time where I would rather be. Beautiful shells, small and large were in abundance and the dead seahorses were ever present. The sandfiddler crabs had a field day scouring for food from the wash-up. The family dogs had a heyday in my youth also when both children and dogs could run wild and free. There was the occasional casualty for those not careful. Perhaps a board that washed up had a nail in it that was stepped on or someone didn't see the dried horseshoe crab which could create a big gash in the sole of a foot. But being in a family with a trained nurse and doctor meant someone was readily available to get us back on the beach again fast. We were so blessed.
The sky was deep blue, the sun was bright and the beach, despite the excess seaweed from the churning waves and those hated tar balls, was filled with life as locals came out of hibernation and visitors who stayed enjoyed the fantastic weather. And maybe the best thing about it was the lesson it taught. You see, life is full of challenges big and small, but through them all we are expected to bounce back and go on with our lives. After all, God gave us life to live and he basically turned us loose with our free will to live it as we please. Now he hopes that since we were created in His image we will live for Him and by His rules, yet he gave us the choice. So, I see those days after storms like the Ash Wednesday monster to be one of those events that He wants us to use to live on when it was over and, as an added bonus, when we live that life for Him it will never end.
Think about that ending to a story. It should give hope to everyone, including those who think there is no hope left. Hope springs eternal when we take Him into the center of our lives. Have a blessed day.