Right now all around us we are surrounded here in the Fraser Valley, and really much of British Columbia by thick smoke. For months now – April actually, the fires have been burning all over the province. Thousands of hectares of lush BC forests have been consumed by the intense fires that have been started from lighting strikes and even some by human hands. The devastation is vast and many, many people have lost their homes, belongings and in some cases pets. To the best of my knowledge there hasn’t been any loss of life, which we are thankful.
During this time you see people stand up to the challenge of helping out. It could be through the hands of an experienced fire fighter or police, right on through to even a man in a boat using the wake of his craft to put out a fire along a lake! Did you see that video clip! Many have volunteered and contributed in many ways to help out in this cause.
Fire is two fold, both good and bad. Fire creates warmth, allows us to cook, is crucial in many forms of manufacturing and is amazing when you can sit beside it with a warm blanket, a cup of tea, stars in the sky and your best friend. On the other hand, fire can be sneaky (ask me about the smoke we smelled and the heat we felt behind a wall one day…. shiver) Fire can control which way it goes by the meer move of a tree from the wind it creates itself and the wind that the natural process of nature brings. The devastation it leaves behind can not be erased or undone, it is permanent until the rebuilding can begin.
Are you aware that in the bible the word “fire” shows up 425 times. It is a pretty significant word. It is used in many ways. Now, I am not going to say that I have looked every verse up because well, that would be a lie. Here is one reference to fire that has always amazed me .
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.” Exodus 13:21
When the exodus from Egypt happened there were so many events where by God showed His love, Power and Strength and to me one of the most beautiful is the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. His guidance was visible, right there, day and night. Feeling alone in the wilderness and having a rough day with your faith? Right then and there they could look up and see the pillar of cloud or the pillar of fire and know that was from God. Amazing right? Yet, how many times did the people of Israel struggle and do some pretty dumb things despite the fact that God had been very present in their lives? Oh… let’s just say lots.
Is that you? Is that me? If you have been a Christian for along time for certain you will have landmarks in your mind of times when God showed Himself in one way or another. Where the actions of even one second made your faith grow a little stronger.
We may not have a pillar of cloud or a pillar of fire to look at all day and night as we walk in our relationship with Jesus, but one thing we do have is the bible with event after event where God proved who He is. As you look at the smoke around you if you are facing that tonight, be reminded of this. Jesus is there, in the good and bad times. We need to first be thankful and pour worship to Him for He has given us so much in salvation, creation and life. He is our consuming fire lets give Him the praise He so richly deserves.
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29
Love, Hugs and Prayers