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Fighting Fire

November 13, 2016
A wildfire in Bitterroot Forrest, Montana (PD - federal govt.)

A wildfire in Bitterroot National Forest, Montana (PD – federal govt.)

God’s creation is stunning in its beauty and complexity.  Fire, for instance, serves a purpose in nature we are only now beginning to understand.

The beauty of God’s creation extends to the best aspects of man’s character.  The devotion and self-sacrifice of firefighters is amazing.  “Smoke jumpers” actually enjoy their work!

However, human efforts by themselves are inadequate – whether to control fire in the natural world, or bridge the spiritual chasm between God and man.  Every approach human beings have, thus far, taken toward wildfire management has failed over the long haul and/or given rise to new problems.  Far more so with spiritual issues:  we are nothing without God and no substitute for Him.

The small, inglorious tasks are often those which shape and define us.  Despite technologic advancements, wildfires are still fought one man and one woman at a time.  Underbrush, dried grass, and other potential fuels must be cleared laboriously and at great risk, by hand.

Heroism lies in continuing what – to us, at least – may seem a hopeless fight.  Some wildfires are so vast and fast moving, they cannot be put out.  Firefighters must fall back repeatedly, yet they fight on.  Some of the spiritual battles we face are this daunting.  But, as Christians, we fight in the knowledge that our war has been won.

“ ‘When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.  For I am the Lord your God…’ ” (Is. 43: 2-3).

Lord God, Your lessons are all around us.  You seek in every possible way to teach us who You are, and draw us closer to You.

Again and again, we mistake Your glory for our own.  Again and again, we see our own reflection where Your face should be.  Forgive us, Father.  Walk with us through the fire, despite that.  You know our helplessness without You, even if we do not.

We ask this in His name who walked in the furnace with Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego.


Originally posted 7/7/13


  1. Oh Wow, Anna–this is a marvelous post! (as usual, but you know… 🙂 ) I love what you said about how heroes fight fires that may indeed be hopeless–we can’t simply quit, must stand firm and fight knowing that GOD has promised HE will have the victory. And I also liked the reminder that it’s His glory and reflection that we should seek to promote, not ours…and I love, love, love the reference to the men in the furnace–one of my fave Bible stories, thank you!! God bless you all week long 🙂

    • I am so glad you like the post, Delyn. That means alot to me. I truly believe this is heroism. All of us face fires like this, at one time or another. We must not give up. ❤

      • Sometimes the fires are daily…or those horrid intermittent surprise flash-fires…they always elicit my “give up” response. But then that passes as my new strength in the Lord kicks in 🙂 It’s so good to have people like you, and other believing bloggers to remind us we are not doing this gig alone–He is ever faithfully beside us, behind and in front of us 🙂 ❤

      • Some of us face more challenges than others. It is so easy to become discouraged. But, as you say, we are never alone. I am gratified to think God uses me to encourage you. Your poetry, in turn, is an encouragement to me, Delyn! ❤

      • Oh my, Anna you’ve made my day! It is too easy for me to think you are superior to me in every way (satan, again)–so these words of yours mean much more than I can really say. I’ll let you keep doing what God has gifted you to do–and I’ll keep being one of His poets 🙂 ❤

      • I’ll leave you in charge of poetry, Delyn. I can’t manage more than the occasional lopsided limerick. :))) As for “superior”, God knows that’s not true. I may just have to write a post about it.

      • You are wonderful! And limericks are not easy, so there you go–you’re a poet! I think you understand about the abuse victim’s inferiority complex, very common–the only good side (said with a smile) is that I don’t usually have a lot of trouble with self-pride 🙂 And sometimes I think I just enjoy admiring others like yourself–so that I can believe there are more good people than bad in the world. You don’t have to be perfect–I wouldn’t impose that burden on anyone 🙂 But since I was short on people to look up to in my life–if I may admire you, it makes me happy.

  2. Dear Anna,

    As I opened your blog I was shocked to see the picture you used. I know the very spot in Montana where the firefighter from Alaska stood on a highway bridge when he took this famous picture. I took another photo from this spot from the same angle ten years later and that scorched earth still was not growing any trees to replace the ones lost. Sometimes the devastation in our lives takes longer to overcome than we would like. Sometimes, as it was with Nebuchadnezzar, God has to strip us of all that we were once so proud of so He can build back in us what HE wants… sons and daughters who walk in the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Our Father is faithful as we continue to believe in and wait on Him. He WILL be glorified in us.

    You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever: for in the LORD GOD is everlasting strength: For he brings down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he lays it low; he lays it low, even to the ground; he brings it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. The way of the just is uprightness: you, most upright, do smooth the path of the just. Yea, in the way of your judgments, O LORD, have we waited for you; the desire of our soul is to your name, and to the remembrance of you. With my soul have I desired you in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek you early: for when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” (Isa 26:3-9, KJ2000)

    God bless you, my dear sister,

  3. Monochrome nightmares permalink

    An excellent piece of writing,
    and a very inspiring post Anna.

  4. A very encouraging article Anna. Thank you.

  5. Well written! I enjoyed reading so much!

  6. Wow… This is the Spiritual Christianity I long to read in a daily basis. I live in Cameroon and I go to a church focused on Prosperity gospel (ie HAVE MORE instead of BEING MORE- I wrote a recent article on that).

    So I read prosperity gospel everyday and everywhere. I am so glad to read such a text from you.

    I have been blessed by the emphasis you placed on our weakness and whole dependence on God.

    I love what you do.

    • Thank you so much, Steve. Your comment has really blessed me. It can be difficult to find a Bible-believing church. They are becoming more and more scarce. Thankfully, the internet has helped me connect w/ sincere Christians like yourself. God bless you. And thank you again!

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