On June 11th, what has now become Arizona's largest wildfire in history was started. It was human caused, reportedly by a campfire. Around 534,639 acres have burned. The Wallow Fire, as it has been named, is dying down at last. My heart was broken when I read about some of the most beautiful country in our state going up in flames, not to mention the houses and towns threatened. No human deaths occured, which is a miracle. I am happy to say that one of my very favorite towns, Greer has been spared. Go here to check out a great place to stay if you ever find yourself in our State.
Such a devastaing fire, started by one small flame......that's is what was on my mind when I read this verse from James:
In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches........
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!
The other morning I illustrated the validity and truth of Scripture with my own actions. I wasn't planning on it, of course, but I did it all the same. It happened as I pulled into the parking lot at work, where we have recently installed solar panels. The fact that they are a wonderful power source is a side note to what really matters to those of us who leave our cars out there in the baking sun for 12 hours now that it is approaching 108-110 in the shade. Covering. They only provided us with two rows of them, in a virtual sea of spaces, however. To say that these are much sought after spots is an understatement.
So now I leave at 5:10 instead of 5:20.
I had just finished praying as I approached what I thought was an available spot. There was a motorcycle parked there. Immediately I cursed them. Yes, I did. And then I had to pray again.
How quickly my heart and my tongue can turn from blessing to cursing, Father, forgive me. Sweet and bitter water out of the same fountain.....
And yet, He is faithful to forgive....once again.
I think of that devastating fire, all the damage that will take so many years to restore. I think of all the destruction that negative words can cause and how maybe someone can never ever be restored, repaired from the hurt that goes so deep. I think of how much good that wonderful words can do. How a face can light up from a simple compliment.
It is humbling.....makes me want to do better.