Many of us have heard the analogy of God’s fire likened to the process of refining gold–removing the dross so that in the end we can be pure gold–reflecting God’s very nature.
But I doubt many of us have heard of the Lodgepole Pine. The cones of this tree have a layer of resin and woody tissue that stick the cone scales together. The seeds are locked in tight and the cones can’t open unless they’re exposed to VERY high temperatures–the type of temperatures that forest fires generate.
These pines LOVE forest fires! (How many of us can say that about the fiery trials we face in our lives?) In fact, they eagerly await the fire! Why? Because that is the only way they can release their seeds to proliferate new trees. In fact, these pines are famous for colonizing post-fire landscapes.
In John 12:23-25, Jesus shares with us the same spiritual principle: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (NIV)
Fire brings new life! Death brings new life! It’s God’s spiritual law. Most of us do all we can to escape the fiery trials in our lives, but if we would embrace them, asking and trusting God to work in us while we are in the midst of the fire, just think how many seeds might be planted as a result–not only in our lives, but in the lives of others.
As we celebrate Easter this weekend, consider what the fiery trial and death of Jesus has birthed–new life and resurrection hope for every single person on earth!