He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (Dan. 3:25)
IT’S EERIE DRIVING through the ancient Lost Pines Forest near my home in central Texas. Years ago the woods were ravaged by the most destructive wildfire in state history. Despite new growth, skeletal trees reach skyward for miles in every direction—somber remnants of majestic evergreens now gone.
Yet hope remains. Ecologists say the ecosystem that follows a wildfire is peculiarly verdant because the flames remove diseased trees, clear out undergrowth, and release thousands of pyriscent seeds—that is, seeds germinated by heat—into soil freshly fertilized by the ashes of fallen timbers. In the wisdom of our Creator, even the most destructive powers spawn new life.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego got to meet that Creator in person, there in the midst of the fire. In His company, the flames meant to destroy their bodies incinerated their bonds instead. Later, they’d find that their testimony provided new life for their would-be executioner. That’s pyriscent faith. It yields spiritual dividends under fire.
Against today’s ruined landscape, it’s hard to picture the Lost Pines my grandchildren may someday wander, but the forest will return. Likewise, in the middle of calamity, I fail to appreciate how God is using the experience to grow my character. I have to remember that when I feel like a tiny seedling struggling in fire-ravaged soil, God is actually making me a signpost of new life in an ashen world.
Invite Jesus to make himself known in the midst of your challenge.
Johnathan Kana lives with his wife and two children in rural central Texas. When he’s not writing, he enjoys playing piano and composing music.
© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.