After the Fire

Yesterday I returned from a wonderful trip into the Boundary Water’s Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota. Pictures and a complete trip review will be forthcoming. Overall it was a wonderful trip — great fellowship with the men of Resurrection, great wilderness solitude and great exercise.

One strong impression came on the first day. After loading our canoes at the Kawishiwi Lodge at Lake One near Ely, MN we enjoyed an early morning paddle along a shoreline covered with green pine trees. After we crossed the first set of two short portages to Lake Two, we immediately we encountered a different sight. The shoreline had been heavily impacted by the Pagami Creek Fire last year. Large sections of the forest were burned to the ground, with only small patches of green trees still standing. It was a stark reminder of how fragile a wilderness environment can be.

But it also was an example of how resilient the forest can. Even as we paddled past acres of dead trees, we saw thousands of small shoots of green shrubs, flowers, and trees pushing up through the charred soil. In time the forest will restore itself. Fire is part of its life cycle.

When tragedy hits, we human often have a short-sighted vision of its consequences. We see only the pain and sorrow and rarely have the ability to see how good can arise from it. This is natural. Yet we have God’s promise that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Even when a forest is crushed by a fire, new life can begin. Even when God’s own Son is executed on a cross, resurrection becomes reality.

Lord Jesus, continue to remind us that all will be well with you.

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