Fire Brings Growth

"Anything else that can withstand fire must be put through the fire, and then it will be clean.”— Numbers 31:23, NIV

When I look at a picture from several years ago of the San Diego wildfires racing down a hill toward our local school, I thought, this is a picture of our lives: fires threatening to consume us, as Satan continually tries to defeat and discourage us.  But God is always there, a shield, a fortress, faithful to use the adversities of our lives for good. (The school was thankfully spared.)

When fire does hit, God uses it to cleanse our lives.

Take a forest, for example. 

Fire reduces the build-up of dead and decaying leaves, logs, and needles that accumulate on the forest floor. Fire reduces or eliminates the overhead forest canopy, increasing the sunlight, which stimulates new growth from seeds and roots. Plants and animals are often forced to adapt and find new ways to survive.

Both the lodge pole pine and jack pine have resin-sealed cones that stay on trees for many years. The heat of the fire melts the resin, and the cones pop open. Thousands of seeds then scatter to the ground and grow into new trees. Woodpeckers feast on bark beetles and other insects that colonize in newly burned trees.

In the aftermath of a fire in our lives, literal or figurative, we will see new growth, and we will be like those seeds, scattered to bring life and nourishment to a world in need of God’s love.

"Give me the love that leads the way,

The faith that nothing can dismay,

The hope no disappointments tire,

The passion that will burn like fire,

Let me not sink to be a clod:

Make me Your fuel, Flame of God."

—Amy Carmichael

Ray Bentley