When the Land Itself Burns

Photo copied from http://www.saddleworthnews.com/?p=2626

When I was about 5 during the long drought of 1976 (you can work our my age from that), I have one memory burned into my mind – so to speak.

I was in the car with my Sister, Mum, Nan and Granddad and we were on the way back from a day out.  We were travelling home in the car along a road similar to the one above, and as it was dusk we could see fire on the skyline just like the picture above.  It was both amazing and frightening at the same time, it was far enough away not to be a danger, but near enough and dramatic enough to be unforgettable.

 That year it was drummed into people not to cause a fire anywhere by accident, especially on the peat moors, of which there are many surrounding Chesterfield and in the Peak District.

Why?  In a normal summer it would just cause a fire of heather and other things on the surface.  But this summer things would be different, a moorland fire would set the very ground ablaze, and the fire I remember was one where the peat itself was on fire!

In 1976, it had been a very dry drought (I say that as lately we have seen various droughts where we have had rain at the wrong times of year in the past few years).  It was not just the heather, bracken and other surface plants that were tinder dry, but the peat that made up the moor had dried out.  It was that dry.  A fire on the surface would soon set the peat ablaze which would burn and would then go underground when what was near the surface was exhausted or if it was put out with water, and could resurface somewhere else at another time.  This is why peat fires can be so dangerous!

When you get a peat fire on the moorland the ground itself is on fire, the very land on which you are standing.

This land has blazed in the past with the fire of God, the Wesleyan revival, the Welsh revival, the Hebrides revival to name a few.

But for many years that fire seemed to go underground with the church trying to hold its ground or retreating, rather than it advancing.  The tide is turning, the church is on the advance once again and promises of revival are now being responded to with prayer, intercession, faith and action as more and more people sense God’s timing for this nation.

It is time for this nation to be once again set on fire for God, and for this land to burn for Jesus! Let’s each play our own part!

Lord Jesus, if your fire in me has lessened or gone underground let your Holy Spirit burn brightly again in and through me so we may see you move once again with revival power in this land. Lord, start with me. Amen!

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