31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works-
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
It started so quickly. Just a whisper of a cloud- a glance on the horizon. Was it fog? They aren't called the Smoky Mountains for anything- the fog often hangs in skirts around the summit. But no. This quickly spread. Black rolling smoke. Perilous. Quick. A flash of fear crosses the mind of anyone who watches this contagion. This could spread. People are in danger. Homes. Lives.
It's hard to watch as it rolls and roils across the horizon. The stretch of miles does not dim the obvious heat. My beloved stands with me, and we watch, transfixed. He nods. "This is the way of the forest, you know." I look at him in shock as he continues. "The fire…only when the fire burns through all the brush, can the forest grow." I ponder his words as we watch. It's still on my mind the following day when the blessed rain begins to fall. And I watch, as the mist falls upon the mountains, cooling. Soothing. It occurs to me how true this fire is of my own life. I tend to regard the hard places, the storms, the lighting in my life, as fearsome things, of which no good can come. But as I gaze over my past, I realize that with each hardship in my life, I have grown. Become more. Known more. I live and walk in a Way I would have never imagined years ago. With each passing fire, I grow stronger in the knowledge of the One who made me. I reach for Him, yearn for Him. I grow.
To the forest, the fire is a part of its life cycle. Without it, it won't survive…without the rich detritus that falls from the ashes and seeps back into the soil as the rain comes, there would be no food, no nutrients to feed it's own, seeds buried deep in the hands of the living Earth, watched over by the Living God.Without the white hot heat of testing, my faith would remain stagnant. Untried. Dare I say unused? This is the truly fearsome thought to me. Deep calls unto deep as the Psalmist says, and tells me a story. And I remember. He is in control. He was and is and always will be. I need to stand, and reach and grow. And trust. This I know to be true.