When my heart felt as if it had been punctured by the thorns of my circumstances, I cried out before the God of the universe for help. And in return, He whispered this to my heart…
“My precious child, your life is like a forest. Understand this parable…
One day, the Forest Master decided to take a walk in one of His favorite little forests.
At the sight of her coming Master, the little forest shook in awe, bowing low in honor, and said, “Master, am I pleasing to You?”
The Master replied, “You are a very pleasant and aromatic forest, but your splendid trees have no room in which to stretch out their limbs and roots. They are undernourished and spindly from lack of the sun. Decaying debris litters the floor of your grove, making it difficult for beautiful, new seedlings to grow beneath your branches. I cannot walk through My favorite little forest; the path is obscured. I wish to make you an extraordinary and sweet-smelling forest. I will send help to beautify your temple.”
“O, Master, I wish to be most beautiful for You. How will You do it?”
But, alas, the Master of the forest did not answer her.
One day, the sky blackened and a furious whirlwind pounded against the timbers of the little forest. Twisting funnels of fury whipped through her boughs. Flashing thunderbolts struck at the heart of her home, sparking a blaze that destroyed all her debris and threatened her existence.
The little forest cried out, “O, Master, where have You gone? I thought You were going to make me more beautiful. I am now broken and singed in places that once blossomed with beauty. I am in anguish in this heat. O, dampen these smoldering embers before I am reduced to ashes. Please, put me back together.”
The Forest Master answered, “I wish you to glorify your Maker in the fire. I sent My ministering servants as flames of cleansing because I love you with the greatest of love. Now, I will extinguish your blazes.”
Then, heaven’s reservoir opened its sluice gates and released a torrential downpour, quenching the burning flames.
The little forest cried, “O, Master, help me. The drenching rains are washing away all that is left of me.”
“The waters will not overwhelm you,” He promised. “I will rebuild the ruined places and replant that which has been made desolate. You will flourish abundantly, for My glory and for the benefit of others.”
“O, Master,” said the little forest, “I did not understand your reasoning, but now I do. Thank You. Because of Your goodness, now I will be a fragrant, thriving forest, pleasing to my Master, bringing glory to You and pleasure to others.”
Though the very core of the little forest had been challenged, the cleaving afflictions had cut a swath for a new, meandering trail for her Master to take long, leisurely walks through her grove and converse with His favorite little forest.
In time, as each night wrapped its darkness around the little forest, the moon streamed through her leaves, illuminating her path and leaving puddles of light on her soft, mossy floor as stepping stones. In each morning’s light, the sun filtered through her limbs, enlightening a boundless display of her sweet, fragrant blossoms that had begun to grow beneath her limbs.
The little forest came to appreciate that her Master knew what was best for her and loved her unconditionally. A closer bond developed between the little forest and her Master and she flourished under His guidance and care. She knew that whatever happened to her was all for her Master’s glory and the service of others.”
The Lord says to you as He said to me, “You have been in the furnace of affliction and I now release you to show others that they, too, may be set free. I have not let the flames settle upon you though they have burned brightly around you.
All you have lost is what My fire has burned away – your dross. The fires of My love for You have made purer. I wish you to be holy in My sight. My holy fires burn brightest in those that truly love Me and wish to follow only My leading.
I have burned away those things that have stood in the way of your serving Me with your whole heart.”
“Do you not understand that you must go through the deep waters? I will hold them back, but you must trust Me to do so.”
The Word says, “We went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of great abundance.” (Ps. 66:12 NLT)
May your life be lived for the glory of the Master and the service of others. May you know that the Lord is with you…through it all.