I grew up in California and although my experiences were filled with limitless beach weather, there were occasional scares that came with a forest fire. One such time was when I was around the age of seven. On our way home from the grocery store, we watched as the flames seemed to race alongside our car as we drove home to protect our belongings. It was almost like it was burning a path making way toward all that we loved.
When we are in the middle of our own “fire season” it can feel like the flames are pursuing all that we hold dear. The harder we run to preserve the treasure, the more futile it feels as the ashes sift through our hands.
As difficult the season, the natural benefits of a fire has significant purpose. What I noticed growing up is that weeks after the flames subsided, the landscape came back with abundance of flowers and greenery. Over time, the topsoil can become so overrun with debris from dead plants and weeds that the seeds underneath are unable to burst forth and be fruitful. Nature can be its own enemy, allowing what should be discarded to choke out life. In this case, fire is used to remove what could be hindering growth.
“The Lord, the Light of Israel, will be a fire;
the Holy One will be a flame.
He will devour the thorns and briers with fire,
burning up the enemy in a single night.” Isaiah 10:17 (NLT)
Just like I perceived the fire to be burning toward my home, the searing causes a path to be laid out for little saplings that were having a hard time reaching the surface. Not only does this allow for new growth, but the fire adds nutrients that otherwise would not be there. The ground is left more fertile than before.
Believe it when I say, God is making a way for you. The Refiner is removing things that is hindering not only your growth, but what could be obscuring your vision. Perhaps you have been in a season of tremendous gain and now it looks like everything is going up in smoke. Dear one, all is not lost, in fact, the opposite is true. Although the Lord tests our work, what emerges from the ashes will be greater than the perceived loss. Seeds that survive the heat have extensive root systems and will actually be activated by the warmth. Resist the lie that you are finished and receive the truth. God is activating a fresh work in and through you.
“And the fire will test and prove the workmanship of each builder. If his work stands the test of fire, he will be rewarded.” 1 Corinthians 3:13b-14 (tPt)
What it comes down to is that ultimately, it’s about more than us. We represent not only greater truth, but the Refiner himself. The fire of adversity reveals the character of Jesus in each of us, resulting in pure worship. The deep roots of your faith will preserve you, while the flames lead the way to greater purpose.
You will flourish in the fire!
“But these (trials) only reveal the sterling core (or proven character) of your faith, which is far more valuable than gold that perishes, for even gold is refined by fire. Your authentic faith will result in even more praise, glory, and honor when Jesus the Anointed One is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:7 (tPt)