There once was a city, ravaged by forces so brutal, so tremendous that the city forgot how to breathe. On occasion it would gasp, sucking for air, trying to give the impression of life, of vitality. Only a fool would be convinced of its longevity, for certainly death was knocking at its gate.
The people of this city were afraid. They saw monsters behind every closet door and heard creaks and moaning, even when there were none. They hid in their homes, behind closed doors fearful of what might come next.
Upon entering this city, a visitor felt the oppression. The heaviness would weigh on his shoulders, increasing the load he must carry. He soon felt the desire to flee the city in a desperate attempt to preserve what hope he had left. If he waited too long the city would overtake him and his thoughts of flight would be no more.
The city walls began to crumble, some from the terrible force that evaded and some from the lack of care by its inhabitants. Truly, this city had been read its last rites.
There was another city, which was also attacked by brutal forces. For a moment, this city forgot to breathe. Then as if a life giving force whispered in its ear, this city found its feet and clamored from the ground that wanted to envelop it.
The people of this city shed their fear. They exposed the monsters behind their closet doors and eliminated the occasional creaks and moaning. They threw open their shades and unlocked their doors. They embraced the future and looked forward to a bright sunny tomorrow.
Visitors felt the electricity upon entering this city. It was a place they could put down roots. They felt alive and free, ready to embrace this new world to which they traveled. The possibilities seemed endless and the opportunities were abundant. Visitors did not wish to leave, but instead grafted into the vine of the bloodline of this city, becoming one of its own.
The city walls were built up, fortified. Expansion was within the realm of possibility. New met new and the old passed away. The air was intoxicating and invigorating. Truly, this city was a city of life.
Which city are you? Are you a city dying at the hand of ravaging storms or are you a city that breathes deep and becomes stronger when trials and tribulation come your way?
Are you a city that lies down, defeated? Or are you a city that fortifies and conquers when adversity strikes?
Are you a city hiding in a valley from which visitors flee? Or are you a city on a hill, a beacon to the lost?
Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.