“Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand.” Isaiah 6:6
Our usual reaction to a forest fire is negative as we think of wildlife killed, flames raging out of control, damage done. But a controlled burn is a technique in forest management, when a fire is set in a prescribed area to burn off the leaves and undergrowth that would result in a hotter fire later. These fires are cleansing and help the germination of certain types of trees.
I wonder what Isaiah thought when he saw the seraphim approach him with a burning-hot coal. Fear, as we might feel when we hear of a forest fire? And yet this coal, touched to Isaiah’s lips, brings cleansing. The God who is flame burns away the dross in Isaiah’s heart, so that his lips are clean.
As I look back over my life, I see times of cleansing fire as allowed by God. Though I prayed and committed myself to the Lord, I didn’t receive the answers I so desperately longed for. The result was confusion and pain. And yet as the days and months passed and I continued to look to God for love, affirmation, and direction, I could (eventually) see how his holy fire was burning away my impurities and redirecting my desires.
Are you going through a controlled burn? If so, may the Lord strengthen you as he brings purity.
Prayer: Father of light, may we see your burning in our life as a thing of cleansing. We submit to you. Amen.