We’ve all seen the terrible footage: thousands of acres of beautiful forest burnt—complete destruction. A few lone trees stand in the smoldering debris.

What is a forest without trees? What is its purpose now? There is nothing but destruction.

Sometimes I’ve looked at the landscape of my life and felt like one of those lone trees.

No purpose, just pain.

Crisis can threaten to strip us of purpose.

Beneath the ashes of our problems lies new life with a greater purpose.

Fire With a Purpose

There is a kind of plant whose seeds do not germinate until there has been a fire. For all my botany nerds out there, it’s called a pyrophile.

Literally a fire lover.

Their seeds are packed in a thick resin coating that won’t come off until a fire melts it away.

The biggest tree in the world, Hyperion, comes from this kind of seed.

Think of it!

The largest tree on earth is here because of a forest fire about 700 years ago.

I think God is trying to show us something essential with all this.

Your crisis is designed to activate parts of your divine purpose that can’t take root any other way.

People who have gone through crises and seen the growth on the other side become pyrophiles. They no longer fear the fire; they can see a new life ahead.

Their journey takes them from problem to purpose.

My friend Scott is that very kind of person.

Troubled Mind

Scott’s daughter stood over his motionless body, screaming, “Scott Schatzline, you are not dead! In the name of Jesus, breathe life!”

Scott died for 20 minutes before he miraculously came back to life.

Going that long without oxygen and blood can cause severe, irreversible brain damage.

When he revived, we was a blank slate: no speech, no memory, nothing. It seemed like his career as a renowned speaker and pastor was over.

His recovery has been a slow crawl, with many miracles along the way.

A tree doesn’t grow in a day.

Recently as guests on my podcast, Scott and his wife, Kristi, went through all the details.

Their story parallels mine in so many ways.

They see the beauty in the brokenness.

In Scott’s words (yes, he can speak; it’s a real-life miracle!), “A crisis does not cancel your purpose; it reveals it.”

God will take you from problem to purpose.

You are standing in the smoldering rubble because God wants to use you to speak life and hope into a broken and dying world.

Gone through the fire? Your biggest trials can bring the biggest breakthroughs!