Fire can be scary and very dangerous. It can destroy bush land, pastures and homes within minutes.
Fire can also be used to renew bush area and here in Australia (in our part anyway) the Country Fire Brigade burns off parts of our bush each year to control vegetation. When this isn’t done the vegetation gets out of control and if a fire starts it can be uncontrollable and do heaps more damage.
When the bush is burnt it is a bleak scene, but it doesn’t take long for the bush to rejuvenate. New shoots start to appear and they are vibrant and green.
You can see the scars of the fire for years after but eventually the evidence passes away under the new growth that appears.
So fires can be good, fires can keep us warm, fires can cook our food, and fires that refine are the best.
God talks about refining fires in His word.
Isaiah 48:10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
In October 2009 our daughter was birthed into the arms of Jesus at 26 weeks gestation. I never thought this would ever happen to us, we’ve had friends go through the same thing but it wasn’t ever going to be us.
All of a sudden, our daughter stopped kicking and nothing I could do would make her start. It seemed that everything went into limbo mode that very moment when the doctor said she wasn’t moving.
We had to travel from our local town to the hospital where I was going to give birth and again there was no movement, no heartbeat, she was gone.
Well if that wasn’t a fire of affliction I don’t know what is. It hurt bad, and it was so hard to explain to the older children why. We still don’t know why, we never sent her beautiful body away to be checked out. We had already had 4 healthy children and it was just one of those things.
But through this fire God brought hope and love and comfort. I have had c-sections for all of our children and let’s just say the whole process at times hasn’t been enjoyable. This time is was a fantastic experience. The nurses, the doctors and all involved were absolutely fantastic. I had nurses help me that had seen me through that last 2 births and there was a certain amount of comerarderie that I never expected to feel.
They cared for my husband and I with such love. The nurse who was on the night we went in stayed behind to pick out clothes for our little one and then brought them to us the next morning.
So through this fire of affliction we gained so much, we felt so much and we learnt so much. God never left us for one moment of that time, he carried us through with His wonderful love and grace.
I can’t really talk about this time without shedding tears, and I am crying now as I write this, but that’s okay, rain like fire can renew too.
The pain does diminish but never really goes away, like a bush fire there is always evidence in our lives of our pain, but new growth begins and God renews us with His love.
God gave us a great gift through this period, the gift of grief. We now understand what it is to grieve and we understand that grief comes in different forms and everyone grieves differently and that also is okay. There are no rule books for grief.
If you are going through a loss you may not view your grief as a gift, and I didn’t for a long time but this grief has helped us have compassion when others are going through tough times. It has given us a heart to help people whenever we can.
We can’t watch sad movies anymore and I much prefer a comedy to a drama. Little House On The Prairie is definitely out of bounds.
God hasn’t blessed us with any more children and I have come to a place where that is alright. He has blessed us with grandchildren so we see new life every time we see them.
We are also comforted to know that our little girl is already with our Saviour and we know that this separation will not last forever and we will spend eternity with her.
If you are going through God’s refining fire at the moment, be assured you aren’t going through it alone, God is always with you, and He has given you His word and the Holy Spirit to give comfort as well.
1 Peter 1:7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.