It has been a tough start to the new year as we have witnessed so many out of control and damaging bushfires in many states of Australia. What can we learn from this tragedy? How can we help those who have lost so much? There are many opportunities to help those affected and we can pray for good to come out of difficulties. We have seen so many horrific photos and videos of the raging fires and the aftermath has been heartbreaking and destructive. How did they start? All fires begin with a small fire. Maybe as small as a spark and yet the task of putting them out can be very complicated and even impossible for man. It clearly reminds me of the powerful verses from James 3 and how we need to be so careful what we say and how we say it in case we set off a fire that hurts so many others.
“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” James 3:3-6, ESV.
There are many verses from the Bible to help us to live a life that builds others up and doesn’t pull them down. But it starts from within.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12, ESV.