Close to the Ellel centre at Pierrepont there is a beautiful area of heathland called Frensham Common. It provides an ideal habitat for fauna and flora, as well as being a glorious place to walk. However, a couple of months or so ago there was a fire which swept across swathes of the common, destroying the undergrowth and damaging many of the trees. It was very sad to see the once beautiful countryside draped as with a black carpet, and the twisted, charred remains of trees and bushes standing out against the sky line.
However, my husband and I were walking our dog there just recently and I noticed that beneath the blackened remains of some of the bushes there were tiny green shoots appearing. As I looked further, I could see all over the blackened landscape little patches of green starting to push through. What an amazing miracle of survival that these plants and bushes could be bursting forth into renewed life so quickly! Devastating though the fire was, much of the plant and tree life not only survived but is likely to grow back with renewed vigour as the rubbish and the old dead wood has been destroyed.
This is a picture of what God does in our lives. There are often aspects that need to be dealt with, rubbish and useless parts of our lives that need to be burnt away by God’s refining fire. It is not a pleasant experience while it is happening, but the result is new growth in our Christian lives and greater fruitfulness for God.
If you are going through the refiner’s fire at this moment, be encouraged! God is allowing it to happen because He loves you (Hebrews 12:6 tells us that “The Lord disciplines those He loves”) and He wants to change you more and more into His likeness. After the refining, God’s heart is always to restore and renew. Just as new shoots are appearing after the fire, so the Lord wants to give you a new start and enable you to be even more fruitful for Him.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You love me so much that You want to discipline and change me. Help me to submit willingly to Your Refiner’s fire so that You can burn up those things in my life that are not glorifying to You. Thank You that you bring new beginnings afterwards. Amen.
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