Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blessings in the flames

Right now there are several wildfires burning in Colorado, threatening and destroying homes and property. The weather forecast today is not favorable to fire-fighting. As I prayed this morning for the rain we so desperately need to put out the fires, I thought about last year. While fire raged in Colorado Springs, devouring hundreds of homes, we gathered with Beth Moore at the World Arena for Living Proof Live. With women in attendance who had already lost everything, we prayed for rain to come and wash out the flames. We prayed earnestly, passionately, boldly, expecting to walk outside later that day and see water pouring from the heavens. But the rain didn't come. I wondered at the time, and I wondered again this morning, why not? I still wonder, but I was reminded of this truth:

Sometimes fire is a gift.

It doesn't seem like it at the time. It often seems like a curse, a punishment, a fiery trial to be endured. And yet, it can be more than that. Fire can refine us, restore us, and reignite us. It reminds us of what is truly important. Fire can take property, mementos, and even lives, but it can't destroy souls. It may forever alter our relationships, but it can't destroy them. In fact, it can mend fractured relationships and even heal broken ones by clearing away so much of what distracts us.

I'm still praying for rain. I'm definitely praying for all those who are putting themselves at so much risk to fight the fires and keep the damage to a minimum. I'm praying boldly, believing, asking for God's mercy to rain down on us. But I'm also reminded that God is sovereign, and He will do what it takes to accomplish His will. He is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29), and He can bring beauty from ashes (Isa. 61:3).

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