Revelation 16:8 The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch the people with fire.

In the waning years of this decade, wild fires have devastated communities from the Great Smoky Mountains in the East to the Cascades on the West Coast of the United States and many places in between. With the loss of life and property caused by these fires, it’s easy to dismiss these words from Revelation, lumping them with other passages in scripture that make us uncomfortable.

And yet, fire is nature’s way of purifying and bringing new life to overgrown wilderness. In fact, certain trees require fire to open their seedpods and bring forth new life. 

These words from Revelation prod me to remember moments when I have asked—or needed—God to bring fire into my life. I recall the hymn I sing at the beginning of the liturgy at the Feast of Pentecost: “Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, and lighten with celestial fire.”

MOVING FORWARD: Where are the overgrown places in your life? Are you willing to light the spark?