The Tabernacle

Creating 'spaces' to experience the presence of God

Australian bushfires… the birth of life

February 11th, 2009

As I write these words now, bushfires of the likes of no others in the history of this nation Australia, still remain out of control.

This ‘inferno’ has gotten within 15kms of our home. Nearly 200 people have been burned alive, 5000 people homeless, 1000+ homes destroyed. These are big numbers for a nation’s whose population is but 20 million.

It is as such that our ‘cousins’ (nicknamed because of geography not relation) in New Zealand have flown over some 150 firefighters & the Australian Army has been deployed to help bring the fires under control. Forensic police now sift through ruins seeking for bodies on a level that is unprecendented in Australian history.

As fear & anxiety have risen in the atmosphere that is filled with black smoke & burning embers, I have sought the Lord. As I have waited on him, over & over one thing has echoed in my spirit.
 
Amongst the Australian indiginous Aboriginal peoples, it is common knowledge that before the white man came & settled in this land, they would intentionally set fire to areas of the land & let it burn.

They knew this land & they knew it was not tamed, nor could it be tamed. They had learnt how to live in & with this sunburnt land. They learnt some of its secrets & blessings. They lived with its terror & strength. And from this, grew a respect & love for this great southland.

As a child I had the priviledge of spending a small part of my childhood amongst these precious people. I learnt an astounding thing from them… that when they burnt the land, it birthed life.

Death gives birth to life. In God’s kingdom, it is also true. No more so than in the life of Jesus Christ, whose death brings us life. With God we are always to look for the ressurrection life in what He does. It is not about the death. It is about the power that raised Jesus from the dead, and this power was God who chose over & over again in the Scriptures the image of fire to represent his presence to us.

But the thing that has echoed in my spirit these last days has been the astounding fact, that in Aboriginal land knowledge, only certain seeds are activated by fire. No matter what natural force or climate hits these seeds, it will not be activated. The only thing that activates the seed is fire. Until that time comes, it lays dormant.

God knows what it takes for His seed to be activated. He is the fire.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life.” (John 10). He is life. He is coming! Jesus is coming!

Life is coming! Out of ashes, out of drought, out of the shadow of death, life comes. Our land teaches us this. So did the life of Jesus!

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