By Shane Kesterke
Elder, Mission Bible Fellowship 



August 10, 2017

It has been a hectic week, filled with uncertainty, upheaval, flames and smoke. If you live or recreate in Seeley Lake, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you do not live or recreate in Seeley Lake, you probably still know what I am talking about as our normally sleepy small town community has become a headline story as we face the very real threat of a wildfire sweeping through our homes, businesses and property. So far, due to God’s grace and providence and His gifting to men and women the ability and willingness to fight fire, we have been spared.

Fire is a natural part of life in the forest. It is even a necessary part of healthy life in the forest - fires kill diseases and insects that prey on trees; fires clear the forest floor of debris and open it up for sunlight; fires stimulate regeneration that causes new growth; and fires are a catalyst for welcomed and beneficial change in a forest. In the short term, fires seem “bad” because of their destruction and degradation of air quality but in the long term, fires have many benefits.


In our personal lives, we sometimes have situations or events that occur, that we may view as “fires” - maybe health issues, money concerns, death of loved ones, strife in our families, difficult neighbors and so on. These personal “fires” usually seem bad to us and our first instinct is to find our way out of them - i.e. we want to put the fires out. And it is very reasonable to try to figure out how to put out our personal fire but it is also important to remember that these fires in our lives can have long-term benefits, just like forest fires.

If you look back upon your spiritual life, you will probably see that many times our greatest spiritual growth comes during and after a fire. It is in these times that we are reminded to turn to God to seek our comfort, refuge, strength and deliverance, and often as we seek him, we grow in our knowledge of Him and our love for Him and what He has done for us.

I don’t know the future of the Rice Ridge Fire. When you read this, I don’t know what twists and turns it will have taken and I pray that life and personal property will survive unscathed. But I do know that the Rice Ridge Fire will bring regeneration and long-term benefit to our valley.

I don’t know what life fire you may be fighting right now but I do know that if you turn to God in the midst of fighting that fire, you will have regeneration and long-term benefit in your spiritual life.

Remember that God is still always in control and enjoy your summer in spite of the smoke and fire!


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