The Fires That Would Not Burn

Since giving my heart back to the Lord, I have had several answers to prayer that have really strengthened my faith in a God who cares for his children. 

My new job was one such answer to prayer, and it has been a blessing to my family and me. My new employer has given me steady employment and has been very respectful of my commitment to keeping the Sabbath holy. 

The company I work for has been working on diversifying away from conventional logging, and this summer secured a large contract for B.C. Hydro and the Site C mega hydroelectric project in northern B.C. It was while I was working on the project, running a buncher, that my boss received an offer from a large oil company to do a small pipeline clearing job near our work site. While the job was rather small and slightly inconvenient due to the mega project we were working on, my boss knew that a good showing with the oil company could lead to more lucrative jobs in the future and agreed to do the job.

The job was to take two days. The plan was to cut mostly the immature trees and place them in piles. Excavators would then make them into larger piles to be burnt. 

My buncher was moved over to the new site early Thursday morning, and after a few hours of company orientation and paperwork, I started cutting trees. After a couple hour head start, two excavators started making large piles behind me, and soon the air was filled with lots of smoke and ash. The fires were roaring with flames reaching over 70 feet high. As the day progressed, the excavators started to gain on me. By the end of the day, I was only 100 yards or so ahead of them. 

On Friday, I started a few hours earlier than normal to give myself a jump on the fire crew. When they started at daybreak, it didn’t seem like I had gone very far. At about 10 am, the oil company rep motioned me to stop for a minute. I shut my machine down, and we had a visit. He seemed very happy with the progress and told me that he figured we would be done sometime Saturday afternoon at the pace we were going. We looked over the map, and I realized he was right. There was no way I would be done cutting today. I told him that tomorrow was my day of worship and that I would not be out to run my machine again till Sunday morning. He was quite upset and informed me that there better be someone running my machine on Saturday. I told him I would let my boss know that someone would need to fill in for me and left it at that. 

I called my supervisor and told him the situation, and I could tell he was very stressed out about it. We recently had had a couple of buncher operators quit, and another was on holidays and unavailable. Another issue was that I was the only person with all the required tickets and orientation to do the job. My supervisor told me he would try and figure something out. An hour later, he called back and said there was no one else that could cover, but that I wasn’t to worry about it and make sure I was out really early Sunday morning. 

I went back to work, but my thoughts were troubled. It bothered me that my convictions were causing my boss and my supervisor to stress out. Finally, at lunchtime, I decided to pray about it. I said, “Lord, I m honoring your will and command, and yet I feel a bit guilty that I’m causing others that don’t share my conviction to stress out and worry. Lord, I leave it in your hands. I’m not going to worry about it any longer. Bless my hands with skill this afternoon so I can get as much work done as possible, amen”.

I went back to work focused and at peace. By 3 pm, I realized there wasn’t very much smoke, and the excavators that had been catching up to me all morning were not in sight. I kept cutting and had a very productive afternoon. At quitting time, I walked my machine out to my truck and started to service and fuel up. Just then, the oil rep drove up and jumped out of his truck and walked over. “I just got off the phone with your supervisor and told him we don’t need anyone to bunch tomorrow. It looks like you cut a lot this afternoon. And the strangest thing happened. My burning crew hasn’t been able to light a fire and keep it burning all afternoon. The excavator crew shut down to help them, but the piles won’t burn. You have a great day off. I think there’s enough work to keep them busy tomorrow.”

I was ecstatic! The whole way home that night I was on cloud nine. I kept saying thank you, Jesus! Nothing on earth can match the feeling you get when you realize that a prayer has been answered. It’s an unexplainable joy to know that the creator of the universe cares so much for us. 

I was out early Sunday morning, and I had a little chuckle as I drove my machine by all the smoldering piles of ash and coals. It seems the fires burned really good for the burning crew on Saturday, and there was still 100 yards or so of wood I cut Friday that they hadn’t burned yet.

We are so privileged to be able to have direct communication with our Heavenly Father. He doesn’t care how big or small of a problem we face. He is waiting to help us if we ask. I think much of our stress in life could be alleviated if we took more of the small stuff to God in prayer and place our trust more fully in him.

This well-known hymn sums up best the point I’m trying to make.


What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer!

Written By Caleb Will

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s