Waterlogged Wood

With the stones he (Elijah) built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. –1 Kings 18:32-35

I love campfires. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved campfires. The smoky smell that permeates your clothes, the crackling sound of the wood burning, and the amber light that reflects off the faces of family and friends, all make the campfire experience complete. So it was no surprise when our family purchased a portable outdoor fireplace. One night after a couple of days of heavy rain, we decided to roast some marshmallows over the fire. The problem we faced became apparent when every piece of wood dripped with water from the previous days’ rain. But, because we had an insatiable hunger for S’mores, we hunted relentlessly for the driest pieces of wood we could find. With a great deal of perseverance and effort, we were rewarded a strong enough fire to roast a few marshmallows.

While it seemed like a small miracle to get our wet wood to light, it reminded me of the experience of Elijah and his contest with the prophets of Baal to see whose god was the real God. The challenge involved both the prophets of Baal and Elijah preparing sacrifices, and the real God would be the one who would send fire to burn the sacrifice.

Elijah spent the day watching the prophets of Baal call upon their god to no avail. The result was silence. Then, it was Elijah’s turn and he did the unthinkable! He soaked the wood around the altar, not once, not twice, but three times! Then, he prayed. Talk about miracles! To the shock of all, fire from God fell from the sky and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the altar, and every drop of water.

Maybe you have some “wet wood” in your life that needs to be consumed by the fire of God. And, maybe it’s not for your benefit, but like Elijah, it’s for the benefit of those around you. God loves to do the impossible, and maybe, just maybe, if you ask, He’ll do it.

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there and it will move.’ Nothing will be impossible for you.” Today, make your prayer, “Lord, increase my faith!”

1 Kings 18:1-39

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Leslie Snyder

Leslie is a wife, mother, youth ministry veteran and long-time member of the HomeWord daily devotional writing team. Along with her family, she lives in Walla Walla, Washington where she is the owner and personal trainer at Redefine Fitness and Nutrition.

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