Designed to Bloom in Fire


Monday we mused on
Psalm 66:11-13.
“You brought us into the net;
You laid
affliction on our backs.
You have
caused men to ride over our heads;
We went
through fire and through water;
But You
brought us out to rich fulfillment.”
jump into context for a moment before we get to the meat of the message.
hard hearing that God brought His people into the net (or prison) and laid
afflictions (hardships) on them. Men rode over their heads? Yikes!
waaaay back in Deuteronomy God clues His people in by giving them commands. In
fact, He warns them a billion times it seems not to leave Him to worship other
gods (false gods, idols i.e. anything you put before Him) and then He gave them
clear conditions of what would happen if they did.
One of
those was allowing other nations to come in and take them captive–to net them
so to speak. Many died. But He promised, because He’s
faithful, to keep a remnant of people and that He would deliver them.
The whole point was to turn them back to Him. Away from things that they were
putting first and from ungodly practices.
Psalmist, here, is actually praising God for His wonderful works. Yes, fire and
water came. But yes! God delivered His people through and on the other side
came abundance. Rich fulfillment.
43:1-2 says,”O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for
I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will
be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When
you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames
will not consume you.”
Guess what? You’re going through the fire. And water. Probably
many times. But you won’t be burned. You won’t drown.
take a look at an interesting tree.
Rocky Mountain Lodgepole. The lodgepole “produces serontinous cones which
do not open at maturity because they’re sealed shut by a resin between the cone
and the scale.” *taken from HERE*
trees require heat with temperatures between 113-140 degrees F to melt that
resin and release the seeds.
In nature, only forest fires can produce those kind of
Jackpine, in Michigan, is similar to the Lodgepole. And there’s a bird called
the Kirtland Warbler, which is endangered, that loves to nest in them. So the
Department of Natural Resources actually light fires in these Jackpine
ecosystems so they can release seeds from their cones and thus produce more
trees, thus as more Warblers breed, they have a safe place to live.
In 2002,
“the annual census counted over 1000 singing males…” They can be
heard singing beautiful melodies up to half a mile.
To prepare the ground work, fire is necessary.
I think we’re a lot like Lodgepole pines and Jackpines. We need the fire
cranked up to open us up, to produce seed in order to grow–to bear fruit.
“But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears
the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and
produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13:23
When we
allow the fire to come, when God allows heated circumstances to develop us and
open us up for His glory, it will draw others to us and ultimately to Christ.
Like the Warblers. Flocking to us.
Like the
mustard seed in Matthew 13:31, which was a small seed but, when it grew, it
became a tree for birds of the air to nest in its branches. The body of Christ
is like that tree. A place for those to come and nest. Make their home.
Connect. Find comfort–the same comfort we were comforted with when we went
through the fire, when it opened us up and produced good fruit in our lives.
I think
with each Warbler, a new song is sung.
put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our
God. Many people will see this and worship him. Then they will trust
the Lord.” Psalm 40:3
We just
have to get through the fire first. And sometimes, it burns hot. Because that’s
what it takes for us to bloom and grow and produce for the Kingdom. For glory
of our King. And to bring in new birds, with new songs.
hosting at Living by Grace! Like our page on facebook and a new devotional will
pop into your feed every single day! I can use daily encouragement, how about
I’m curious, do you have a favorite bird? God’s creatures are

Musing on Psalm 66:11-13: Through Fire & Water

I wanted to
concentrate on this particular part of the verse that’s in the picture, but
here it is as a whole:
“You brought us into the net;
You laid
affliction on our backs.
 You have caused men to ride over our
We went
through fire and through water;
But You
brought us out to rich fulfillment.” NKJV
brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.
You let
people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water,
you brought us to a place of abundance.” NIV
When we
think of God as good, we may have a hard time with verses like these. The key
to understanding them is: word focus, context, and culture. This isn’t a
frightening verse. It’s a comforting verse.
we’ll unpack it and take a look at it from something we can understand. A
particular tree that grows in Michigan and Colorado.
Musing/Meditation Prompts: Remember a time you
felt your feet were in the fire, maybe you’re whole body. Everything seemed to
burn up before your eyes, but you called on the Lord and He delivered you. Can
you picture that time–that season? How did it stretch you? Grow you? How did
you respond–as clay in the Potter’s hands, silver in the refiner’s pot? Did
you buck and fight and grow bitter in that time? What could you have done
differently if you had bucked. What wonderful spiritual treasure developed
inside you from the fire? Have you been able to comfort others with the same
comfort you were given by God?
felt like you were drowning? Being flooded? When the enemy flooded you, how did
God raise a standard and beat him back? Remember the moment your spiritual
lungs were free to breath. Fire and floods are beneficial to our spiritual
journey. Thank God today that He loves you enough to allow those tough times.
You’ll reap rich fulfillment–spiritually.
Where are you? Fire? Going through murky waters? Have you come out
on the other side? If so, do you have any words of encouragement for those are
facing fiery trials and raging storms?