I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw an article that was posted on the 'Pioneer Woman' website that her husband actually wrote (you can read that post here). I was fascinated by the content because he is a "good ol' cowboy" and wrote about the reasoning behind burning the fields his cattle grazes in. That struck me as strange because I would think you would NEED the grass in the field to feed your cattle, since that's their food. As I finished reading this post, God began to link burning a 'natural' field to burning our 'spiritual' field and He spoke to my heart and said, "it's time to burn your field." When He said that I slowly breathed in through clenched teeth, like you do when lemon juice gets into a paper cut because I knew that meant crap in my life was about to get WAAAAYYYY too real. Can't a girl just read an article without it being a life lesson? So, I'm going to take some of what this man wrote about burning fields and show you how this applies to our spiritual lives because I believe this word wasn't just for me, I believe God is wanting to stretch and grow all of us.
"Prescribed burning in the spring is an important part of grass management." I love that they call it 'prescribed burning', I think God takes us through seasons in our life where we NEED to burn away all of the junk that has built up in our minds and in our hearts. I think that it's necessary for us to live a victorious life and a life that is a reflection of Christ. It's not a pretty process but a necessary one.
"Another reason for burning the pastures is ridding them of unwanted brush and weeds." I have some unsuccessful experience with gardening and what I DO know is that weeds kill what's healthy. You plant a seed in the ground and next thing you know there are more weeds growing then plants and eventually those weeds kill the plant before it even bears fruit. We can allow weeds of doubt, fear, unbelief, greed, selfishness, pride, un forgiveness, resentment and offense to grow and take over what is healthy in our lives. These weeds can quickly multiply and choke out what God is trying to grow in us. Our hearts and minds can become so full of weeds that the healthy seeds that are being planted have zero opportunity to take root and bear fruit.
"But burning pastures in the spring does more than make things pretty. It also kills the ticks and parasitic worms that were hiding in the old grass. Fire is pretty much the only way to get rid of ticks on a widespread basis." Ticks and parasites live in the weeds but what is interesting is that ticks and parasites don't kill the weed, they will transfer to the cattle that are grazing in the field, and they will latch onto them and cause them to get sick and sometimes die. We have ticks and parasites that are living in the weeds of our lives. These don't kill the weed but they are looking to transfer to someone else and feed on them. This comes up in different ways: the weed of offense can spread by gossip which causes the other party to take on the offense and it kills their perspective of the one you are speaking of, killing any opportunity for them to receive seeds of life from the one YOU are offended with. The weed of resentment and un forgiveness can carry words of death that are spoken to someone that kills their joy, kills their hope and kills a relationship. The weed of selfishness can transfer a parasite that kills another person's dreams and growth because you can't share what you have learned or the resources you have to help them succeed. Burning is the answer to killing these weeds at the root and it also kills the parasites that live in these weeds.
"The old, dead grass in the bunched area has a hard stem that’s not only unpleasant for the cattle to eat, it also pokes them in the mouth if they try to eat the good green grass surrounding it. This discourages them from eating in the bunched area altogether, which creates a self-perpetuating cycle. Burning prevents these clumped areas from accumulating." Our lives are meant to be a reflection of Christ, we are here to be His hands and feet. People should be able to come around us and "graze" off of our lives but often times we have clumps of weeds that hurt people and it prevents them from wanting to come around us. These weeds make us unpleasant people to be around, we become cold and angry. I think we unintentionally hurt people by being short with them, by keeping them at a distance, by shutting them down or making them feel insignificant or small in our presence and we can be left standing there wondering why we don't have friends or why we never get invited to stuff...maybe an inventory needs to be taken of the weeds that we have allowed to grow that are poking and hurting the people around us.
"It’s been proven to release nutrients into the ground, which help revitalize the prairie." What I find fascinating is that, the ashes from the burning gives the ground it's nutrients for healthy grass to grow. We fear the process of allowing God to burn the weeds because they have become a part of the landscape of our lives. We have become comfortable with them being there, what would our lives look like without them? Who would we even be? These questions scare us because we have to throw our trust into Gods hands and believe He knows what He is doing which means we have to release control and who likes not being in control? Not me! In fact, this is an area He is currently burning and it sucks HOWEVER, it will be the ashes from this prescribed burning that will provide the nutrients for healthy grass to grow in my life. I'll be able to point to this time in my life and say, "God proved to me that He is faithful and that HE is the one in control and all I am required to do is trust and obey."
The burning process is just that, a process. They can't burn the whole field at once because there is a threat that the fire could burn out of control and cause a lot of irreparable damage, so it's done in phases. God weeds out and burns out the un healthy growth in our lives in phases, so don't get frustrated when you get done going through the burning process in one area, then you get lit up in another area. We are constantly in the process of becoming less so that HE can become more because let's be honest, we are a hot mess most of the time and we need Jesus to be greater. Do not despise these seasons of burning because God never does something that does not bring beauty OR glory to Him. Trust that He knows what He is doing and allow Him to burn away the weeds, ticks and parasites in our lives.
1. Take an inventory of the weeds, ticks and parasites in your life. How have they negatively impacted your life?
2. What are some areas that you feel like God is currently "burning"?
3. How do you feel about Him burning away that area?
4. What beauty has come from the ashes of 'prescribed burning" in the past?
John 3:30 "He must become greater, I must become less"
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
Matthew 15:13 "He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots."