Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nourishment: After the Fire

Have you ever just craved nourishment?  How do you get it physically, emotionally, spiritually?  Because I have these questions and I want answers, I've asked a series of people to come in and share how they find nourishment.  Will you come along for the journey?  We will meet here every Thursday until the posts  run out.  Have something to share about nourishment?  Contact me and we will set a date!
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.
Photo source
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:

DROUGHT
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).

INVASIVE WEEDS
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)

Facts sources here and here

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P.S.  Giveaway winners will be announced tomorrow morning since I am too tired to stay up until midnight tonight.  Check back on Friday!

18 comments :

  1. This a wonderful analogy. It is beautiful how God uses nature or circumstances around us to teach us something about ourselves.

    How devastating it must be when fire hits so close to home, yet to see or simply trust in a greater purpose for it makes all the difference.

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  2. We visited Yellowstone a couple of years after all the fires there. 'It was beautiful and all the new growth was inspirational. Good thought in this post!!

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  3. I love the analogies. Beautiful post!

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  4. Beautiful, Shelly. I love the idea of "soaking in His presence" He renews us and satisfies us.

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  5. Hi Shelley and Jen!
    Loved this...God's Word promises "beauty from ashes" It was a good reminder and very interesting to see it layed out even in nature.
    THANK YOU for giving Him Glory today !!

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  6. I love this analogy of...after the fire...what do I need to do after the refining...be careful and intentional about growing new growth -- not weeds! Or the fire wasn't worth it. I need to make the winnowing fire count! Or Christ does through me. Thanks for the encouraging words!!

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  7. I love this post. Thanks for it.

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  8. I really enjoyed the topic of fire. Never thought of it so in depth or thought about all the good it does. I want to be refined and I pray that God continues to work on me and all those reading your words. Blessings.

    The Write Soil

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  9. I hope everything is OK.

    The growth after a fire is amazing, but we will need rain--lots and lots of it (I'm in Fredericksburg, land of 5 inches in 12 months).

    But to take the spiritual side, I've known two people to lose their houses to electrical fires and have God use that in mighty ways.

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  10. I knew fires were beneficial to the forests, but never knew the specifics. I found the facts very interesting and saw the parallels to the Christian life that we need trials to help us grow.

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  11. I would never ask for "fire" but God does use it to refine us.

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  12. This is so encouraging Shelly! I love the facts about fire... God is so amazing. Refinement by fire is the bittersweet that brings us closer to Him and more like Him. Bring on the fire :)

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  13. this really spoke to me today shelly... thank you so much. your words minster. xo

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  14. I wrote a post to link up with imperfect prose, and I also talked a bit about fire and how it purifies. It's such a perfect analogy.
    I enjoyed your post very much- thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  15. Thanks, everyone. I would definitely never ask for fire, but it inevitably comes. And when it does, I know that God is working IN me so that He can accomplish His purpose THROUGH me...breaking the hard places, removing the litter to expose good soil, creating favorable growing conditions. Teach us, Lord, to find nourishment in you...in order that all which has been planted in us is able to grow to maturity and yield good fruit. And give us grace to give thanks, even in the fire.

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  16. It is necessary sometimes to go through the fire, to be refined, to look more like Him. I can't honestly say I welcome the fires, or the storms for that matter, but I am further along that I used to be!

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  17. I can remember when I heard the scripture "Those who hunger for righteousness will be filled." I felt confused. I wasn't hungry at all so how could I be filled. It would be years later when I learned that feeding on God's word creates and fuels the appetite. Thanks for this post, Shelly! Loved it!

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