Do you remember eighth-grade science? No? My husband and I really don’t either. Way back then, we were much more concerned about our budding boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. It was a different time with AOL dialup, CD’s coming in the mail, connecting with friends on AIM, and a new Disney Channel movie every Friday night. Yes, our relationship started in 2001. We were preteens. We surely didn’t know what love even meant but we knew, WE KNEW, that we were 1000 percent in it.
Amidst our MySpace updates and the boy band mania, we learned about Lodgepole Pine Trees. Do you know about them? Let us give you a quick refresher so you can be prepared when your favorite eighth-grader asks you for help on his schoolwork this week.
The Lodgepole Pine Tree is quite unique. You see, Lodgepoles drop special pinecones covered in resin. The resin acts as a protective shield allowing it to wait idly by before releasing the new life within. Ecologists tell us that these cones can actually sit idly for months, years, and even decades simply waiting for a special environmental event: a forest fire.
It’s odd, isn’t it? The Lodgepole cone needs a ravaging fire to bring forth new life. In fact, the Lodgepole seeds cannot flourish without it. To the outsider, the now destroyed forest looks hopeless, sparse, and desolate. But for the Lodgepole cone, the season of new life has come. Even as ash swirls and the air is thick with the striking smell of smoldering wood, the resin on the cone softens and the seeds within burst forth. The seeds land on the scarred forest floor and make their home amongst the ash. And just like that, new life is born.
Perhaps you have never thought about how a forest regenerates or perhaps you haven’t considered it in decades. Maybe, even now, you haven’t considered how you can thrive, adapt, or grow in this current season. As illness and destruction continue to drop like dominoes around us, there is new life awaiting; hope ready to spring from the hopelessness. The COVID-19 virus can strip away titles, roles, and social lives. It can even strip away friends and family members. But you have been planted for just a season as this. Like the Lodgepole, you are resilient and you are positioned for growth.
So what has laid dormant in your heart that God is asking you to release? Has a dream of old been rekindled anew? Have you felt the pull to refresh your relationships with your kids, your spouse, your family, or your friends?
How about time with Jesus? Are you having more time to sit still with Him? Are you getting bonus time worshipping Him? Have you been able to pray more frequently or more fervently? Isaiah 43 tells us “Behold,” yes, BEHOLD, “that I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the deserts.” He will make a way in this wilderness. He will cause rivers to run in your desert. He is doing a new thing in you. A fire continues to burn out there but the new life in you, the new season in your life, the new chapter in your book is ready to break free just like that Lodgepole seed. So friend, check around you, there is opportunity for growth right under your feet.