More than 100,000 wildfires consume 4 to 5 million acres of land each year in the United States. These fires travel at 14 miles an hour destroying everything—trees, brush, homes, and sometimes humans. On our west coast, the combination of bone dry weather, strong winds, and frequent storms with lightening all combine to create conditions that are ripe for destructive forest fires. All it takes is a spark and 1000s of acres go up in fire. Ironically, when the fire burns out, the land is perfectly fertilized for future growth. It is that refining effect of burning that got the psalmist attention as he wrote Psalm 66. He wrote, “You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.” The psalmist did not ignore that God’s path may land us in painful situations, like illness or job loss. Yet the psalmist knew, as we must learn, that while our wise, heavenly Father may permit us to pass through painful experiences, during such tough times, He assures us of His presence. And in the end, we will become more fruitful.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More