When the Fire of Destruction Comes

A blazing inferno is moving quickly in your direction. You feel the intense heat, and the air is clogged with smoke. Animals and birds flee past you, and even the insects attempt to escape. You would run too if you could, but unfortunately, you are a tree, rooted to the very spot with the fire bearing directly down upon you. The fire begins to lick at your leaves, and you wait……

While no one enjoys the sight of a burned forest, fire is important for the functioning of a number of plants. Amazingly, some species actually require fire for their seeds to sprout. Some plants, such as the Lodgepole Pine and Eucalyptus, have special cones or fruits that are completely sealed with resin. These cones/fruits can only open to release their seeds after the heat of a fire has physically melted the resin.

This is such a great picture for us when we are surrounded by seemingly destructive forces (ill-health, unemployment, divorce, death of a loved one, etc.). As we travel through the fires of life, we have a choice to make: release to the Lord a seed of praise and worship that has a hope rooted in God’s continual loving-kindness, or to become completely self-absorbed in the difficulties we experience, and become embittered that God has allowed us to suffer some physical or emotional pain.

Shane & Shane based one of their songs on Job 13:15: ‘Though You slay me, Yet I will praise You/ Though You take from me, I will bless Your name/ Though You ruin me, Still I will worship/ Sing a song to the one who’s all I need.’

How can we get to a place of being at peace in the midst of an inferno? When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2) We hold to the unshakeable truths of God’s word.

Like the Lodgepole Pine and Eucalyptus trees, will our lips release seeds of praise as the infernos of life hit us, so that these seeds of praise might take root in the Father’s heart of love and compassion, and cause us to be a continually worshipping people in spite of the pain?

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. (Heb. 13:5).