Saturday, June 18, 2011

Simple Saturday - Forest Fire

I have added a new feature to my blog called Simple Saturday.  I plan to break away from my regular study on some Saturdays to share a thought with you.  It may be a random thought that doesn't have to do with the topic I am currently looking at, but yet it is something I have been thinking about.

I think when God created the aspen tree He was having a great time!  Aspen trees are often confused with birch trees because they look so similar; in fact, they are in the same family.  The aspen tree has a beautiful white bark and when my family visited my mom in Arizona, we saw them growing up in the mountains.  Unless someone is growing an aspen tree in their yard, you typically will not see just one aspen tree.  They are usually found in large quantities in the places they are growing.  A few years ago, I read an article in Arizona Highways that explained why.  Aspens have a root system that can extend several yards and perhaps even up to a mile.  Within this root system more aspens will shoot up and soon there will be a whole grove of aspens that have the same DNA as each other.  Aspens require a lot of sun and will grow tall to continue reaching up toward the sunlight; however, they also leave the soil in a condition that is perfect for Ponderosa pines.  The pines will grow in these perfect conditions and eventually outgrow the aspens and choke out their sun.  The aspen trees die off, but the root system doesn't die.

The reason I am thinking about the aspen tree is because of all the forest fires in Arizona that have been on the news.  On a side note, please pray for the residents of Arizona and New Mexico; that area had some beautiful forests and people have lost their homes.  Forest fires are devastating - there is no doubt about that.  What was once thick green forests is full of blackened, charcoaled stumps.  My family saw the results of a forest fire in Arizona as we were driving on the Coronado Trail and it looks terrible.  The interesting thing is that it hasn't completely devastated the forest because the aspens begin to come back once the roots are exposed to the sun!  Right there in the blackened and ugly soil, shoot up beautiful white trees.

It is almost as if God put them in creation to remind us of our human cycle.  God created man and woman perfect and without sin.  Yet we chose to be lured by temptation and sinned against God, creating a division between us.  This sin causes many problems and serious devastation, which is quite ugly in our lives.  But God created a way out!  Through Christ, we have a way to become right with God once again.  We are made new through Christ!  Praise God we are made new!

There are many other examples of some seeds requiring a fire in order for them to germinate.  Some of them germinate as a result of the chemical reaction that happens from the charcoal left behind, while other seeds are covered with a wax-like coating that needs the extreme heat to melt it away and crack open the seed.  Going through the spiritual fire is also hard, but there are new seeds that God wants to crack open in your heart.  He wants you and me to bear fruit for Him.  If you are going through the fire right now, be encouraged and know that there will be so much blessing when it is over.

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