Meet Shelly. I met Shelly at She Speaks this year and she has also been a part of the Soli Deo Gloria sisterhood. Her passion for knowing God deeply is evident both in her writing and her personality. May you drink in her nourishment for you today.
This morning around 9:30 A.M. our daughter left for a babysitting job. By 11:30, there was news of a fire and mandatory evacuations in the area she was located. Needless to say, I kicked into mama-mode. I updated my facebook status with a prayer request, called my husband and started praying. As I prayed, I found myself asking why. Why the outbreak of so many fires recently?
Over the last several weeks, Texas has had major fires and loss of land, property and lives. With the current drought and weather conditions favorable for acceleration, even a small spark could mean widespread devastation very quickly.
Please, God, no more fires. And not here.
News of containment brought relief to my anxious mama heart, but I knew God was speaking to me of another fire burning in my own life.
A cleansing fire.
A refining fire.
As I’ve read many blogs over the last few months, some of you seem to be walking where I’m walking. In the midst of hot flames, intense heat and pressure. Why, God? Why fire? Why now…and why here?
Sometimes when we ask, He is silent, but other times, He speaks.
Did you know these facts about fire?
- · Fire is renewing.
- · It breaks rocks.
- · Kills pathogens and bacteria.
- · Clears litter from the forest floor, exposing a mineral and soil bed which is receptive to seed implantation and growth.
- · Creates favorable growing conditions.
What about these?
- · The heat and pressure of the fire explodes cones from pines, birch and spruce, releasing seeds that have been waiting to get loose for years.
- · Most forest trees need to be exposed to fire every 50-100 years to invigorate new growth.
- · Some ground requires intense heat.
· Just as interesting as what happens during the fire is what happens after the fire. If given the proper nourishment, a vast forest of trees is sure to emerge and rise from the ashes. But without it, the ground will not be able to support new growth.
Nourishment is defined as something that nourishes; food, nutriment, or sustenance; a process, system, method, etc., of providing or administering nourishment.
Two (but certainly not the only) factors that could prevent new growth:
Just as new growth cannot flourish in a drought or dry season, we cannot continue to grow after the refining process if we do not drink of the living water. The Bible tells us that when we delight in and meditate on the law of the Lord day and night, we shall be “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in its season, whose leaf shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).
In addition to drought, invasive weeds also prevent or limit new growth after a fire. In our own lives, we must be mindful of the things that try to sneak in and stop or choke spiritual growth after we have been renewed in His presence and filled with hope and vision for the future. Distractions, busyness, and sin are weeds that attempt to smother. If we read the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, we can understand the importance of cultivating seeds of righteousness and pulling weeds of sin in our lives.
If you feel like you are walking through the fire, don’t lose heart. God has plans of great purpose for your life. There is a vast forest of trees and fruit ready to thrive. Allow Him to burn away, cleanse, break and refine all things hindering (spiritual) growth. Even now, seeds planted within you long ago are bursting and being released, ready to bring forth more than you could imagine.
Find nourishment in Him. Cultivate seeds of new growth. Soak in His presence. Saturate your heart and mind with His Word. Drink of the living water and watch and see what the Lord will do.
(Additional scriptures: John 4:14; John 7:37-38; Psalm 1:3; Psalm 42:1; Isaiah 43:19)