#BLESSEDlife, sir-ah-ten-ee!

forest fire

The Pastor’s Quill


By Pastor Tim Hodge
Oct 29, 2017

Several weeks ago, I was in a casual conversation with some brothers. We were hitting on random subjects. Somehow, the discussion navigated to the tragic fires in the western United States. Then a couple of them enlightened me on something profound. There are certain trees that will not release their seed except in prolonged extreme temperatures (like a forest fire). I continued to think about that matter, but I didn’t really look into it any more. Then, while prepping to cut my lawn I was getting some of the pine cones out of the way (trying to be a good steward of the life of the mower blades). Most of the pine cones were opened up like normal pine cones. Some of them were closed tight. Being the world-renowned scientist that I am, I decided to experiment. I grabbed a couple of the tightly closed pine cones, took them into my house, grabbed one of Mrs. Kim’s baking pans and put them into the oven at 400 degrees. Sure enough, in about 20 minutes they had slowly opened up.

My inner-Geek was really fired up. I whipped out my phone and Googled: “Pine cone seed needs heat.” I found a big word – SEROTINY. To be honest, I didn’t even know how to pronounce it. I had to look it up in an online dictionary that would pronounce it audibly. It sounds like this: sir-ah-ten-ee.

Here is the definition.

“Serotiny is an ecological adaptation exhibited by
some seed plants, in which seed release occurs in
response to an environmental trigger, rather than
spontaneously at seed maturation.”

Remember: seed equals potential. In serotiny there is an environmental trigger that releases potential.

My brain was in overdrive with thoughts on heat, fire, closed pine cones opening, and this serotiny phenomena. I had this epiphany: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That’s not original with me, but it’s true. Then I thought of Joseph’s words to his brothers who had wanted to kill him, but opted for selling him into slavery. Joseph (the poster-boy of experiencing betrayal, pain, disappointment, and anguish) had seen God release potential in his life as he went through every dire circumstance. In Genesis 50, he had reached his pinnacle of power and influence as he addressed his brothers (who were crying and trembling with fear). These were the words that put the climax on Joseph’s revelation of his own life: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20, NKJV).

Let me tell you something dynamically profound about the #BLESSEDlife: Everything the devil means for your harm, God will turn it around for your good. There are certain elements of potential in life and faith that is “serotinous” – it is only released under heat and pressure. Environmental triggers (circumstances surrounding our lives) that were meant for our harm will be transformed by God into blessings. Do you really want to mess with the devil’s head? While he’s taking his best shots at you – you LAUGH; not just a silly, goofy laugh, but a pure, Holy Ghost-inspired, joy-filled LAUGHTER.

Every hardship you’ve faced in life was just releasing a new degree of seed-potential to flow out of you. Yeah, when you get a revelation on that you will enter a new phase of the #BLESSEDlife.