Storms And Wildfires

    “When wood reaches 572º, it gives off a gas which reacts with oxygen to make a flame. The flame will heat the remaining wood, making the fire grow stronger. This will happen even on cold days. The temperature at which something ignites is called its flash point… There are different causes for ‘wild fires’ of course. Sometimes it is because of storms and lightning may strike, causing a fire to begin. Sometimes (unfortunately), the cause is human, whether by accident, or on purpose. The death and destruction which follows is awful, and recovery is slow for those who lose everything. Of course some fires are started and controlled into order to minimize the danger of these wild fires. 
   When looking at Thomas M. Bonnicksen’s article dated September 25. 2004, entitled, “What storms teach about wildfires”, it started me thinking about what we could learn about ‘storms’ and ‘wildfires’ in the home. 
   Sometimes families experience ‘storms’ and ‘wildfires’, which are very destructive. Everyone in the end suffers, because no one seems to know how to ‘prepare for’ or ‘avoid’ the ‘storms’, and even fewer know how to ‘put out the fires’. Mom used to tell us, “Come in the house, there’s a storm coming!” “Don’t play with fire… you may get burned!” Kids learn to avoid things like this, but unfortunately, we learn by experience. Why do we insist on ‘touching’ it anyway?!  
   Some points about dealing with family ‘storms’ and ‘wild fires’.  1.) Learn to forgive each other. You aren’t perfect and neither is your spouse. 2.) Learn to say, “I love you just the way you are”.  Acceptance – is a key to a happy home.  3.) Learn to set and keep ‘boundaries’ to protect your family. It is YOUR home, and ex’s, in-laws, should not be allowed to interfere, and “third parties” should NEVER be allowed anywhere close to your relationship. Solomon says, “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well” (Proverbs 5:13). Affairs are out of bounds! Wise up, unless you love getting ‘burned’. 4.) When ‘storms’ (problems) come… draw close to each other. Support and protect each other. 5.) Deal with things before they get out of control. My uncle wanted to do some burning on his property behind ours. All went well until the fire got out of control. Before long we were all out trying to put the fire out. Then the fire department came! Advice: Don’t start what you can’t finish, (or put out).
   Flash-points’ are different with each person. All it takes is a word, or a certain look, or maybe even a memory. The ‘fire’ flares up and the fight is on. Some ‘fights’ JUST AIN’T WORTH IT.  6. Learn that the past is the past, and cannot be changed. Why spend time ‘digging it up’ again. 7. Learn to speak gently, Solomon says “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool GUSHES folly. The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:1-3). 
   ‘Fires’ are best ‘put out’ with ‘water’ not ‘gasoline’.

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