READ : Psalm 66:8-20
Massive fires are frequently in the news. We read of brush fires in Los Angeles, of forest fires in our national parks, of conflagrations in various states.
Norman McLean tells about the multimillion acre fire in Yellowstone National Forest. Professional fire fighters were flown in to fight this blaze. Five were parachuted into a very dangerous area and suddenly found that they were cut off from any escape. Wade Dodge was sent to rescue them. He came in the midst of flames through a backfire, yelling that they should follow him into the escape route. Two of the men obeyed, rushing into the center of the backfire, and lived. The other three firemen ignored his instructions and ran through an apparent opening. They were never seen again.
Fire can be beneficial. It opens up a forest by destroying underbrush so new life can flourish. The heat releases dormant seeds. The Lord says that He will take us through many fires. As silver is purified in the smelting process, so the Master Craftsman uses affliction and suffering to consume our self-sufficiency and pride, bringing forth spiritual life. We can follow our Redeemer into the heart of the flames, confident He will take us through to safety. Indeed God is called a consuming fire. Note that the Psalmist begins by saying, “Shout with joy to God, all the earth” (v. 1). He is faithful.
Thank You, Savior, for using the flame for good. Amen.