Yesterday I returned from vacation and one of the places we visited was Sequoia National Park which is home to the largest (most mass) living thing on earth: the General Sherman Sequoia tree (2,500 years old). Driving through a grove of these trees felt un-earthly, almost like a fantasy-land. I love natural wonders like these. A moment of God’s glory and just a bit of showing off. There is so much I learned from these trees I will probably bring them up many times- but today what struck with me the most in regard to these natural giants was their need for fire.
That’s right. A tree that needs fire to survive.
After the trees were protected, people went to great lengths to protect them from saws, fire, anything dangerous. That resulted in 100 years of no new seedlings. Zero. Nada. Zip.
What scientist realized was that the seed cones would stay on a tree for up to twenty years and the only thing that would make them open was the heat of a forest fire. Also the fire would clear the undergrowth leaving a fertile ash layer perfect for the seed to germinate. And finally the scaring of the bark strengthened the wood helping the giant trees to grow strong.
This a cool science lesson but what is my point?
Often we see hard times, difficult times, as bad and something for God to save us from. And there are times He will do that. But don’t be confused. Salvation is not a promise of a happy easy life. He’s called us to something more! He has called us to be His people: to love when it is hard, to serve when it is hurts, to give when we don’t know if there will be enough.
But if he has taken you to a season of fire remember this – it is for a reason. A good purpose you can’t see right now. But when the fire passes know you will be in a better place if you choose to cling to him.
Have you seen this to be true in your own life? Do you ever see God in a new light after studying his creation?