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Seeds of the Kingdom

Fire-Swept Seasons

by Christel Baxter

13 January 2024

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And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28, NIV

I heard an interesting fact about a certain species of pine trees. In environments where fast-moving fires are frequent, the pine cones are very hard, and literally glued shut with a strong kind of resin. These pine cones can hang on a pine tree for years, even long after the seeds within the cone have matured. It is only when a fire sweeps through the pine forest that the resin of the cone melts, and the seeds are released and distributed by the wind. I read that there are also certain plants which grow in fire-prone areas where the seeds actually need fire, directly, or indirectly, to germinate!

This made me think of a conversation I had with a friend, who is going through a really trying time. A loved one of hers is battling challenging health issues. She was sharing a bit of her personal journey, and how the Lord was highlighting things in her heart which needed alignment to His truth. During this really distressing season my friend was going through, God was bringing growth, and a deeper walk with Him.

When I think back upon my own life, and the trials and hardships that I have faced, what stands out every time is the faithfulness of God. All these seasons were a catalyst of growth in my relationship with the Lord. I won’t pretend that this was pleasant, or that I saw God’s hand while in the throes of it all. But, in hind sight, the golden thread of God’s goodness is so evident in every season.

When I page back in my ‘quiet-time’ journals to those fire-swept seasons, I see how the Holy Spirit counselled me, and how God’s truth brought comfort, correction, and ultimately growth. It was often in these trying times that God showed me my fears, areas of doubt, and the lies I believed about Him. Likewise, it was often in these times where God gave me the most precious promises from His Word, as well as fresh perspective on what He wanted me to do.

When a fire rages through a forest of trees, it does not seem as if anything good can come from it. All that is visible is devastation. The same may be true for us when we face hardship and testing seasons. Perhaps we could ask the Lord to help us surrender the hard shells of self-protection which we often try to put around ourselves, and allow Him to use the fiery trials to germinate within us that which would bear fruit and bring glory to Him. Perhaps there are things within us, which have remained dormant for a long time, and God wants to ignite them, and grow them to maturity!

Romans 8:23 promises that ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.’ God never wastes our pain. He cares about every detail of our lives. When we belong to Him, He is able to use the fire-swept season that the enemy intends for our destruction, and bring seeds of purpose and growth, all for His glory!

Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. Besides serving together on the associate team at Shere House, Christel & her husband, Gary, pastor New Life Ministries, a congregation in Boksburg, Gauteng. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married, and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law and their little granddaughter, Hannah! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.


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