I don’t know about you, but I am glad 2020 is in full swing, and many people have told me they feel the same way! 2019 was very challenging for me. I like to think that the challenges I faced made me a better Christian and that I’ve grown from them.
The truth is, most days I would rather just forget and move on; wishing I could burn away some of the events of the past year as if they never happened; a controlled burn in preparation for renewal.
Controlled Burn Requires Igniting a fire
The thought of burning was brought to my mind by the recent wildfires in Australia that had the world captivated. There has been so much devastation and destruction in this beautiful country, and many have been praying that they will continue to get them under control.
Watching the news about the fires, I learned the phrase “controlled burn”. When I “googled” the term, I learned according to the USDA Forest Service, a controlled burn is a fire intentionally ignited to meet specific land management objectives.
So sometimes it’s actually a good thing to ignite a fire if it is monitored for a purpose.
Preparation for Renewal
The benefits of a controlled burn prepare the land for new growth, restore and renew the soil and the surrounding ecology depends on the fire.
Basically, fire doesn’t just destroy, it can regenerate.
So, I started thinking I need to have a “controlled burn” in my mind. Those negative thoughts that have been occupying my mind need to be burned, erased, or wiped out.
I need to symbolically burn the brush of the past and remove those bitter weeds. Just as the land regenerates, my soul can feel nourished and allow room for restoration and renewal.
Those that surround me or my “ecology” will benefit from this renewal as well.
Some Biblical encouragement if you need some controlled burning in your thought life:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18
“…. but one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…” Philippians 3:13
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
Replace what is Burned with God’s goodness
I love the thought of clearing out the old and leaving it behind and focusing on pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy things. This requires an intentional effort to replace those thoughts with God’s goodness.
My prayer is that I won’t have so many fires to put out this time next year!