I love the colors of fall. Last week Bill and I traveled from Portland, to Salem, to Medford, to Lakeview, to Sunriver and then home. Can you imagine the majestic scenery we were able to see on this trip! The big win for me was when I saw a sign that said Crater Lake. I had never been there and this was definitely on my list of places to see. I asked Bill if it was within driving distance to stop by before heading to Lakeview. He checked the mileage and agreed this is something we should do.

Oh, I was so excited. I had always heard about it, but never had the opportunity to see it. The trip to the lake was amazing. The weather was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky. We got out of the car and one of the first things I noticed was there were no guard rails. Now, I’m a little nervous as I see it’s a big drop down with nothing to hold onto. I have waited so long to see this I wasn’t going to let fear stop me from seeing what I had begged to come see. When I looked down, the lake looked like blue glass, it looked unreal – it was picture perfect. You could hear people in the area from time to time, but it seemed like everyone was looking in amazement at the beauty of God’s masterpiece. I was in awe at the beauty of Crater Lake.

I began to think of what it had been – a mountain that became a lake.  A massive volcanic eruption had left something that made the landscape of the area beautiful, and then it became a useless and ugly basin. Centuries of rain and snow have filled the lake and now its beauty is magnificent.

I thought of how many people we know that at one time had a wonderful relationship with Jesus and now have hit the bottom; they feel ugly and useless, or maybe we have friends that don’t even consider God an option, or we look around us and see a hurting world. Yet, Jesus can take the brokenness, the confusion, the emptiness of those who are searching for truth and change their lives as He pours into them, as He showers them with His love, He takes a life and makes it beautiful.

At our recent Board Advance, we discussed the book Generational IQ by Haydn Shaw. He says, “Within the last several decades, the world has shifted dramatically. The cracks of this fundamental shift appear everywhere: in our economy, in our cultural debates, in our political landscape, and, most importantly in our churches. He shares about the challenges in these areas. He walks you through these generational differences and paints a vision of hope for the future. I’m reminded in God’s Word, He says, “I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail.” That should give us all hope and a future. We should all be intentionally asking God for opportunities to show God’s love, not judgement, to those around us.

I thought, just like Crater Lake, God takes the impossible and makes something unique and beautiful in each generation. Our challenge is to stand firm on the Word of God, and be like Jesus. He listened, He asked questions, He loved people. The theme of God’s Word never changes.