Then Job replied to the Lord:
2 “I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.’
5 My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”
— Job 42:1-6 (NIV)
In the middle of the pandemic and suffering from cabin fever, I went to Providence Canyon in Lanett, Georgia. This used to be a farming community. Very wealthy and very up and coming.
Bad farming practices destroyed the land. Destroyed an entire town. Some of the destruction was caused by bad, unintentional choices made by farmers and landowners. Some of the destruction was the result of greed and decisions made with no regard to the damage they would cause to lives that depended on this land for their livelihood.
The land and town were wiped away by erosion. Families lost everything. Buildings literally had the ground shift and wash away from under them.
What is there now is amazing. It’s referred to as Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon. It is breathtaking and beautiful. There are more than seven miles of trails to hike through canopies of trees and amazing shades of pink, purple, gold and orange canyon walls. Water runs throughout the canyon floors. Multitudes of people come here to hike, picnic and take in the awe-inspiring view.
I came here on the heels of a tough year. I had just gone through a divorce that ended an almost 30-year marriage. I had experienced more unexpected changes in my life in the last year than I could have ever imagined. None of this was what I had planned. It was hard. It was devastating. It had tested my faith like nothing ever had before. So many things in my life were the result of bad choices. Some made by me, many made by others, and I felt like I had lost any semblance of control in my life. Several times I saw no way good could possibly come from any of it. I literally felt at times like the ground under me had shifted and washed away from under me.
As always, God had other plans. He was not surprised by any of the sharp inclines, deep gullies and washed out roads that had become my life. He remained in control even when my world felt like it was eroding away from torrential rains.
He still had good for me. He still had beauty for my life in mind. He took what I’m sure was considered to be worthless land, no good for farming, mining, or producing anything, and has used it to show the beauty of His creation and power in His hands. He has done the same with my life, blessing me with a beautiful life I never saw coming.
I felt so many things as I looked around at this unsurpassed beauty. I knew God was doing with my life exactly what He had done with this land, taking what looked like destruction and making something beautiful. As Job states in these scriptures, “I had only heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes.” God was showing me what only He can do. I had heard about His power. I had heard how He turned ashes to beauty. In this canyon and in my life, now He was showing me.
Copyright © 2020 by Lynn Sanders
Lynn Sanders is a mother of 3 amazing adults, a nurse that works with adults with developmental disabilities and director of Sky Hill Animal Society in Selma, Alabama. Lynn loves utilizing her dogs and horses to show people the love of God through Therapy Animal work.