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December 2, 2021

A Cleansing


Recently my husband and I went to explore one of the most beautiful parts of our country, the great white North.

I have always been drawn to the North: It’s perfect weather, nature, tranquility, and that hometown feeling wherever you are. This trip, though, led us on an adventure we were not expecting.

Halfway through the trip, I decided to change our course to take us through Superior National Forest, up to the boundary waters, and down the Northshore. As we turned into the main section of the national forest we were greeted with the most beautiful scenery. It made me imagine the joy God had in designing this forest, knowing that His children would marvel and wonder at its glory. Shortly into our detour, the scenery began to change. You could see the areas that were once picture-perfect places of beauty, now ravaged by fire. We were awestruck and scared. While we continued to look around we saw Minnesota Department of Natural Resources trucks, even Iowa DNR was present. We knew immediately what was happening; the state was doing a series of control burns and we were in the middle of it.  

In the Bible 1 Peter starts with talking to the people who were chosen by God before their exile. That they were chosen prior because of foreknowledge given by God. 1 Peter 1:22 says “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.”

Control burns are critical to the survival of our environment.  

Just as fire cleanses the forest, God’s truth cleanses us.

If you don’t know what a control burn is, it is the forest being intentionally set on fire. Some seedlings will only grow after a fire, certain trees learn to become more resistant to heat as they are exposed. Control burning burns out the old parts of the forest that are no longer capable of self-sustaining. The seeds that grow after are the brightest, strongest and first to emerge. The trees become resistant and become a protection to various different wildlife.

The forest, even in its devastation, will continue to thrive.

What I am saying, is that in our own choice to follow God’s undeniable truth we find our past being burned. It’s like God holds our hand and tells us “What is behind you is what I will burn so something that only I can give you can grow.” He will burn out alcoholism, depression, anxiety and trauma if you let him. I am not saying that purifying our soul, spirit, and mind in His truth will be a magic pill. We will carry the crosses of those continually, but after the burning and clearing the new seeds will begin to grow; The boundaries you make with your old life, the new friends you make in church, the feeling like you are covered by grace and free will grow in the places of the habits and hurts you once had. You will be connected to a Heavenly Father, who continues to love you and connect you to the environment you were meant to thrive in. God’s love is deeper, stronger, and more powerful than anything on earth. It connects us to the people around us who made the same choice as you and me. God’s truth and purification will connect us to the Spirit.

“For, ‘all people are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ And this is the word that was preached to you.” 1 Peter 1:24-25

Breathe in the cleansing and purifying that God and the Holy Spirit bring you and open your eyes to the new world and new life God will give you. It will come.

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