Fires are raging through the western U.S. once again. Right now I feel very personally connected to what is happening in Colorado. My daughter lives south of Denver. Every other summer I spend a month in Ft. Collins, where the High Park fire has burned more than 250 homes, almost 100,000 acres and caused one death. It still burns. And many of my friends in Colorado Springs, including The Navigators at Glen Eyrie, have been forced to evacuate by the out-of-control Waldo Canyon fire.I experienced such a fire years ago in California.The fire raced down the mountain, driven by 90 mph Santa Ana winds.We had about 30 minutes to evacuate before the flames arrived at Arrowhead Springs. I grabbed a few clothes for Steve and me and baby Debbie, then ran over to the next door child care to get her. A few other mothers were there, but no time to notify others to get their children. So each of us took two.We made it to safety in a friend's home. Steve returned from San Diego, and all he could see were flames where our home and office should be. Where were Debbie and I?All the phone lines were down (this was long before cell phones); frantic parents had no idea where to find their children. It took hours to reconnect everyone. And all waited to see if they still had a home.
The raging fire swept through the foothills and into the city, consuming 285 homes, claiming four lives, injuring hundreds. Firefighters could make no headway. The flames rolled into great fireballs, jumped firebreaks and sent sparks flying into new homes and trees.The fire exploded.
That’s what the spread of the gospel should be like. Like a firestorm!We should be sparks flung widely by the wind of the Holy Spirit—fireseeds igniting wildfires of God’s love and forgiveness wherever we go.These fires should be unstoppable, jumping fire breaks and every other barrier that our enemy throws up. Our fires, however, should not bring terror and destruction, but life and hope.The Panorama fire was only contained when the wind stopped days later. Just so, the fires of God’s good news in Jesus will only be arrested when we no longer allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to enflame our hearts and lives. When we settle for tame flames in a fireplace, for the gospel contained in four walls.God is waiting to set us—hearts, minds, lives—aflame for His Kingdom. Are you ready? Willing to be consumed by the fire of the Spirit for the redemption of lost people?(If you would like to know more about the Panorama fire, it is documented in this video: The Panorama Fire (http://wildfiretube.com/videos/62/)c 2011 Judy Douglass