Peculiar Pine Cone

  I enjoy scrounging around thrift stores and second-hand shops in search of treasures, sometimes, the treasures I find are not material but spiritual. 

Yesterday, as I was out on one such excursion, I noticed a lady scooping up all things “pinecone." Candles, pictures, decor, etc. It caught my attention because her cart was very full, I thought, she must be working on a project or event of some sort. I moved on without a second thought and eventually made my way out of the store, I turned the car radio on and it was news reporting on the fires in California; I listened as the broadcaster spoke about how the beautiful pine trees were being destroyed. My thoughts wandered to the lady at the thrift store, and well, you know, pine cones...
When I returned home I looked up pine trees of California and read this on the internet:
That the Lodgepole Pine tree with its 3–7 cm cones often need exposure to high temperatures (such as from forest fires) in order to open and release their seeds...) Throughout California and Oregon forest fires are burning out of control in this brutal August heat. To give you some perspective, the U.S. Forest Service is spending $100 million a week to fight the fires! It’s devastating.

And yet, as these raging fires consume the forest, I learned something that is quietly going on to prepare for renewal. You see, this unusual species of Evergreen, called the Lodgepole Pine, that grows in great numbers throughout Northwest America most especially in Yellowstone Park, has the fascinating aspect of the uniqueness of its pine cones.
Lodgepole Pine cones stay on the tree for years before they fall off and even when they do fall, they will not open to release their seed, until they are in the presence of intense heat! What could explain this remarkable ecological foresight?
The answer? But God.
God, designed nature, even in its fallen condition which includes devastating forest fires, has providentially prepared for their renewal by designing a Pine tree whose reproduction requires the agent of its own
As I thought back to the lady at the thrift store, it seemed the Holy Spirit was inviting me into a conversation about “seeds of Resurrection” by the simple act of allowing me to see this lady gathering pine cones, and then hearing about their destruction on the news…He was sharing a hidden mystery of His heart and ways…

You see, even as trees, wildlife, and all living things are being destroyed in a forest blaze, seeds of life are also being released for the "resurrection" of forest life...because, of course, their seeds are only released in the fire, the Lodgepole Pines are the first to grow in an area that's been burned.
Each of us, have areas in our lives that have, need to be, or are already being burned up -- consumed by the "Refining Fire" of God's Holy Spirit.
Yet God has also provided the renewal for us...a "seed" something brand new, which can only be birthed by intense heat.
This new seed, however it manifests in our lives, represents the resurrection life of Christ, which will only emerge in the presence of His purifying fire.

The Lodgepole Pine stands as a prophetic declaration: “I am the resurrection and the Life!” I am Hope and promise in the midst of fiery trials, pain and sorrow.
Be encouraged today with strength, might, hope and the joy that as you endure, you will be renewed with resurrection life. Though unseen, God is divinely intervening.
My friend, If you are walking in what feels like a desperate and destitute place, might I encourage you? Look to the Lord instead of your circumstances today. He's working on your behalf.

"When God seems furthest, He may be laying the foundation of showing His greatest faithfulness."
David Platt.”