Trials Like Fire
[He is] “gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
No matter how you slice it, life is full of challenges. Each hardship represents some sort of loss; loss of a person, home, safety, stability, or purpose. This is why these experiences can be so painful.
The boss walks into the office, shuts the door, and places a set of papers on my sweetheart’s desk. “There is a reduction in force today, and unfortunately, you are one of them.” The news tingles up his arms and settles in his chest, heart pounding.
Sometimes the trials that blow through our lives are like wildfires that spread and destroy. Would you believe me if I told you that along with the destruction, there are also benefits?
Imagine walking through a forest and think about all you see. Colorful songbirds flit from branch to branch. Sunlight dances as a breeze blows gently through the trees. But along with beauty, there is also a thick covering of leaves, underbrush, and choking weeds. Mosquitoes fly around your head as you pick your way through dead, decaying, and fallen trees.
If a wildfire were to start here, it would spread quickly, destroying everything in its path. Afterward, charred remains are all you see. Take a closer look. Burned away are the decaying trees, brittle leaves, and thick underbrush, along with pesky insects and diseased plants. The ash is full of nutrients that soak down into the soil, replenishing it, making the ground fertile for future growth.
When trials sweep through our lives causing destruction, we may only be able to see the charred remains at first. However, at closer inspection, and after a time of healing, we may be able to see how God used the trial to help eliminate choking weeds, and dead and decaying elements from our lives. This makes our hearts fertile ground for beautiful growth in strength, endurance, and our relationship with the Lord.
God, help us to be thankful for our trials, seeing the growth that comes.