As many of you know there have been some historic wildfires tearing across western Oklahoma. It is horrific to watch as these fires destroy people’s lives and livelihood. As a veterinarian, it is also hard to watch as animals suffer and lose their lives.
Several months ago, my husband and I did a controlled burn in one of our pastures. A controlled burn is a very detailed, monitored and managed fire landowners set to improve land conditions. Controlled burning can be done every few years to improve the vegetation on your land. This pasture in particular had a lot of love grass that was overgrown and not suitable for our cattle.
We gathered up many of our experienced, older and wiser neighbors and came up with a very detailed plan. We informed all the right people and set to work. The burn itself only lasted about 30 minutes, and praise God it went according to plan.
I was on the edge of the fire, with my water sprayer, spitting out any flames that came over into the plowed-up area. It was scary. The flames were so high and so hot! I was praying fervently.
The flames were truly terrifying. I have a whole new respect for firefighters and the courage it takes to do what they do everyday!
As the fire came together at the end, it was an amazing site. Everything went exactly according to plan, and just as quick as it started, it ended.
As I watched the fire burn everything in its path, all I could think about is how terrifying it was. There was no forgiveness. Only ashes left in its place. But after a few weeks, new birth happened! There was green, lush, beautiful grass returning! This pasture had never looked so wonderful.
This reminded me of the scripture in 1 Peter 5:10, “And the God of grace, who called you to eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Even though there is much suffering now, God will restore what was once ashes and bring back new growth and new strength!
Western Oklahoma has suffered a great loss. Let us not forget about them as we continue in our daily lives.
If you would like to extend a hand to help, here are some organizations who have created funds to assist those in need and how you can contribute:
Three relief funds have been established through various foundations for those wishing to make a donation to the wildfire efforts. Those wishing to make a contribution to the relief efforts can do so through the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation, the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation or the Farmers Union Foundation, Inc. 100% of the donations will be distributed to the relief efforts.
Here is information for each foundation:
Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation – Make checks payable to Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation with “Fire Relief” in the memo line and mail to P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148. To donate online, visitwww.okcattlemen.org.
Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation – Make checks payable to the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation with “Wildfire Relief” in the memo line and mail to 2501 N. Stiles, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. To donate online, visit www.okfarmingandranching.org.
Oklahoma Farmers Union Foundation – Make checks payable to Farmers Union Foundation, Inc., with “Wildfire Relief” in the memo line and mail to the attention of Wildfire Relief at P.O. Box 24000, Oklahoma City, OK 73124.
Thank you to all the first responders, firefighters and all those affected.
Prayers are being lifted up!