Giant Sequoias are dependent on fire for survival. Studies revealed that fire could be used as a management tool, at least in small areas, and that it would not only reduce fire hazard, but would stimulate the regeneration of Giant Sequoias in many ways. Scientists confirmed that Giant Sequoia reproduction effectively dropped to zero in groves where fires were not allowed to burn. Rapid growth occurs after a fire, not in spite of it. Rising heat from a fire dries out the hanging Sequoia cones which open up, allowing seeds to rain by the millions. These seeds land on cleared soil fertilized by ash. On soil left bare by fire, the new seeds can take root. Giant Sequoia seed germination naturally occurs best in fire-burned, mineral-rich soils.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure (under fire), your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

James 1:2-4 MSG

Let the fire do its work in you.

When I look back on a little over three decades of life, I can see a trend that runs parallel to the sequoias: life from the fire. God has used the pressure and fire of life to open me up and produce growth. It’s through the fire that our faith is tested and strengthened, the soil of our lives is fertilized for growth, and new sprouts spring up.

Fire is painful, but God will use the pain to produce growth and life.

K E V I N • M I L L E R

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