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Eye on the World: wildfires in California

- Eye on the World

It’s said to be “wildfire season” in southern California, and a fire in Los Padres National Forest spread on Tuesday across nearly three square miles near Santa Barbara. Thousands of residents and campers have evacuated the area, as the US Forest Service sent more than 700 firefighters and a dozen aircraft to battle the blaze. Crews on Tuesday worried that if the wind changed, it might force the fire into areas where more homes and businesses are located.

Whether we live in a wildfire-prone area or not, our prayers can both support those working to contain blazes, and help to prevent future outbreaks.

No firestorms in the kingdom of God,” written by a Christian Science practitioner and teacher based in southern California, explains how we can pray when confronted with news of wildfires. We can start by recognizing that, as Jesus taught, the kingdom of God is right at hand — meaning that as we’re obedient to God’s direction, we’ll be protected and sheltered. That doesn’t obviate the need to act wisely, and with an eye to weather reports, but it does mean that a clearer collective understanding of God’s care will reveal new resources for controlling and even preventing fires.

You might like “Wildfires and prayer” and “Prayer in the face of disaster,” two firsthand accounts of how people looked to God when fires threatened the areas where they lived. In both cases, these writers caught glimpses of the spiritual fact that right where destruction seems to be, God is present — and actively protecting His creation.  

Finally, “Thank you, firefighters” offers an arresting look at how prayer fortifies those in the field, working to contain blazes and prevent loss of life and property. An understanding of God’s goodness strengthens the weary, reveals creative solutions for fighting blazes, and brings to the fore previously unseen resources for preventing devastation. Destruction is no part of God’s plan for His children, and as we perceive that fact more clearly, we can certainly expect to see our environment reflect this spiritual truth.

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