As I left home late one afternoon, I noticed smoke billowing from around the corner. I pulled up far enough to see that the source appeared to be one of the condos just around the corner. Quickly parking the car so as not to be in the way of any emergency vehicles, I jumped out, and started running toward the house while trying to dial 911.
As I approached the driveway, I could see the smoke was coming from a bush. (try not to get ahead of me here) I dashed through the smoke and ash and pounded on the door. A lady came to the door, along with her very irritated dog. Startled and alarmed, she rushed to the garage and grabbed a water hose.
As she doused the smoking bush, another lady from the neighborhood approached us wondering what was going on. I turned to her and politely said, “It looks like we have a burning bush.” There was an awkward pause, then laughter.
Needless to say, as I walked back to my car, I was relieved and humored by the situation. And I continued to think, “A burning bush. A burning bush? What in the world? That was a burning bush!”
The original burning bush is described in the Book of Exodus (3:1–4:17). According to the narrative, the bush was on fire, and yet not consumed by the flames, hence the name. The burning bush is the location where Moses was appointed by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into Canaan.
No, I am not suggesting that my neighbor’s burning bush was any sort of miraculous sign from God to instruct the people of our neighborhood to lead Nashville to the Promised Land. Moses had a ‘burning bush’, we now have a ‘burned’ bush. Although no one has any idea how a seemingly healthy green shrub would suddenly catch fire, maybe there is a takeaway from this neighborhood burning bush.
For a brief few minutes, three people stood watching a smoldering bush reflecting on something that a few minutes earlier appeared to be a tragedy in the making. And then we all quietly thanked God that everyone was safe.
I left the neighborhood and traveled on to my planned activity thinking and pondering God’s goodness. Maybe He had nothing at all to do with the burning bush in the neighbor’s front yard, but He is good. He is kind. He is merciful. He delights in being praised.
As you go about your week, I hope you don’t see any literal burning bushes, but maybe you will see something or someone who will remind you that we have a great God who loves us. Or, maybe you will be the reminder to someone else who needs one, that God is worthy of our praise.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
(Thomas Ken, 1674)
A Norvell Note © Copyright 2017. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.