Fresh Hope – 22nd January 2020

You may be aware of the fires currently raging in Australia. 1400 homes destroyed, 28 lives lost, 25.2 million acres of environment burnt to a crisp, killing 1billion animals. And with no sign of slowing down, these fires are predicted to continue into April. 

I personally know people who have experienced significant loss because of these fires. I also have friends who are fighting the fires, or rescuing whatever wildlife remains. Yesterday my Dad was photographing some of the most devastated areas. He commented on how silent the environment was – deep ash covering the earth,cblack poles for trees, and no sounds of blowing leaves or tweeting birds. Any remaining animals are starving as they root around for some remains to feed on. 

Amidst the dire situation, there is some hope. There are some seeds that are actually only activated by fire. Their species require fire for the seeds to sprout. The fire melts the resin on the outside of the seed. These cones/fruits can only open to release their seeds after the heat of a fire has physically melted the resin. More than 60 plant species, never before recorded in some parks, have flourished since the fires. Plants that were under threat before the fire, are now germinating prolifically. 

I wonder what new life is available amidst the fires of our lives. Even after absolute loss and devastation, there is a hope. In fact there is a new life and fruit in us that only a fire can produce. We may be burnt, we may feel completely devastated, but even after the flames, there is life that would have otherwise never existed if it were not for the burn. Your devastation now has unlocked something new. It can be easy to focus on the significant and heartbreaking loss, and the loss must be acknowledged and grieved, but what if God is able to bring about something new because of it? 

There are many occasions in the scripture where Jesus bought life after death. Jesus raised people from dead (John 11:1-44), even His life is a testament to life after death (Mark 16:6), and WE have the promise of life after death (John 11:25-26). 

When Jesus is involved, new life is an absolute. He removes the painful sting of loss, by providing a hope, a sprouting seed, while we stand in the ash (1 Corinthians 15:55). 

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.