Wildfires and Flourishing in Barrenness

Wildfires 2015, These photos are from a friend of mine…her view…her life…her reality..

Jenny's back deck

View from Jenny’s back deck

Jenny's back deck

Forest Fire

Back in 2010 I wrote the blog below. It was more of an essay on flourishing in barrenness. FireCurrently, as I watch the fires rage out West, my heart is ripped apart thinking about the devastation. I’ve been praying for those in the path and those dedicated to halt its progress.

Beauty4AshesThere really can be beauty from ashes, you have to look hard.  I can imagine how hard it must be to see through the smoke and tears out there.

2010 Post

During a powerful windstorm I was watching leaves fiercely being plucked from the tree in my front yard. The afternoon wind relentlessly yanked the amber leaves until at dusk; all that remained was the skeleton of the tree.

How beautiful that tree was at sunrise and by night fall it was vastly changed.

It made me think of Job. Job woke up one day on the top of the world and in a short period of time he was stripped of his wealth, his family, and friends.

How many times have I been stripped of something and temporarily my faith goes with it? As a writer, rejection is a huge part of my life. Sometimes I allow rejection to strip me of my confidence and belief that I am doing what God has called me to do.

I watched a documentary on Yellowstone. They were discussing forest fires. Looking at the the barrenness left behind by devastating forest fires, I was heartbroken at all the glorious green that was turned to rubble and stripped by the raging flames. The charred blackened earth looked desolate and barren, similar to the way my spirit feels sometimes.

I learned about a certain tree whose seeds can only regenerate after a fire. Yellowstone geologists showed tiny shoots that emerge amidst the black barrenness within days of the fire. They even mentioned that the burned out area is like a firewall of sorts that will protect the area from another fire for up to 100 years.

“After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house.” Job 42:10-11
so-much-to-do-so-little-time@blogspot.com

so-much-to-do-so-little-time@blogspot.com

Interesting that growth happened in the midst of what seemed to be desolation. Growth with roots! Job was restored, the forest regenerated. So the trial yields something beneficial?

“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire test and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So that when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:7.

ACTION ITEM (added)  Pray for the people in the fire…literally the firefighters as well as the Jobs in your life who are under fire spiritually!

Point to Ponder: Are you in a season of barrenness or testing? Do you feel God allowing things to be stripped away? Look deep perhaps you will see the tiniest shoot of growth, it may be small but it has the potential to grow into a flourishing forest of faith. Enduring the stripping seems worth it when you know the outcome will be positive – that is His Promise!

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