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Friday, March 28, 2014
After the Fire: A Lesson from the Redwoods
It’s fire season where I live in Colorado. Our
state often suffers from less-than-average snowfall so the land in very dry.
Most likely you heard about the Black Forest Fire last year,
or the devastating Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012 that moved stealthily over the
foothills and into our city (see photo). Most everyone in Colorado
Springs can tell you exactly where they were when the news of that first devastating
fire destroyed hundreds of homes and business in the northwest part of town.
Fire can be devastating. And after it’s over, the landscape
shows some trees that are completely destroyed while others are left standing—yet
these once flourishing trees bear the markings of the disaster by their missing
or charred limbs.
makes me wonder how the giant redwood trees in California have lasted for
almost 2000 years.We know that California’s had their share of forest
fires, so how are those giant trees still standing?
a friend told me about the redwood’s unique ability to withstand fire. First, their
branches are about 100 feet and higher so the fire cannot reach them. Most
importantly, these enormous trees do not have a certain flammable resin on
their bark like most other types of trees.That factor makes them mostly fireproof.
a fire is very hot, however, flames will burn into the trunk. But the tree
immediately begins to repair the damage. After the fire, the tree grows a
thicker bark around that area to cover over the burned portion.
Like these grand, tall trees, we need
protection to keep us from “burning up” emotionally when the fires of
anger, criticism, fear or doubt surround us.
evil one shoots his arrows (of lies and deception) at us and, if we are not
protected, we will be hurt. We can become more protected as we put on the full
armor of God and live in His presence and protection. Ephesians 6 in the Bible’s
New Testament explains:
Stand firm then, with the belt
of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of
righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that
comes from the gospel of peace.In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which
you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of
salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
(Ephesians 6:14-17, NIV).
We need God’s protection against the rampant lies and
half-truths in our culture that seek to destroy marriages, tear apart families
and keep people shackled to discouragement and hopelessness. As we read the truth and seek to live it out, we get stronger on the inside. We have more joy.
We need God’s strength in us to live godly lives with
courage in a world that depends more on self and less on the One who created us and loves us most.
God never said life would be easy, but He said that He would
be with us. That’s a relief.
With God’s power and his close presence we can rest in His
Jackie M. Johnson is an author, freelance writer and
book publishing consultant in Colorado.
Previously, she worked at the premiere literary agency, Alive Communications,
and the CBA-publisher,
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. Visit her website.
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women,"
"When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.