As The World Burns Around Us

On Thursday, AmeriCorps NCCC Shuffle Round Team Sun 6 got the opportunity to work alongside the staff and volunteers of the Missouri Department of Conservation as they set fire to a 547 acre area in the Spring Creek Gap Conservation Area.  As the prescribed burn slowly made its way through the glades and woodland area, we found ourselves surrounded by smoke and ash. 

The destructive nature of fire brings about both death as well as new life.  It’s a slow change that creeps across the landscape of blackened grass and leaf litter.  It is a destructive force that consumes everything in its path, but paves the way for something more. 

In the song “Bloom Again” by Charlie Hall we are shown the power of this destruction that, in the long run, brings us closer to God.

The beauty of the ash of love
When you emerge
You are more beautiful
Bloom again

Like the fire and smoke moving through the forest, burning everything in its path, God’s love moves through our lives and completely destroys our plans.  Everything we thought we would be, everything we once held dear, our future, present and past.  We are stripped clean by the blood of Christ, the burning love of God. 

It hurts.  The pain is intense.  We realize what and who we were, are and are created to be.  It’s not always a gentle process.  It wrecks the world as we once saw it. 

And then something beautiful happens.  God doesn’t leave us broken, burnt and covered in the scars of our past.  He builds us up into something much more beautiful than anything we ever imagined.  He gives us passion and joy to live for. 

As with the fire that burns through the forests and glades, God’s love strips us down completely.  In the forests, the fires burn the leaf litter, the dead grasses, paving way for new life to emerge and flourish.  Without the fires removing everything that was there, blocking the sunlight and using the nutrients in the soil, the new grasses and saplings would not have the chance of the opportunity to grow and flourish. 

The loving fires of God are trying to wash over us, taking away everything that holds us back from God.  Let go.  Allow the flames of love to burn.  Embrace the knowledge that from the ashes, God will not leave you, He will reveal the beauty that is hidden deep within each of us.  He will make us more beautiful than before.

God Bless and PEACE

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