Last year, hours before Winter Storm Goliath hit, our home caught on fire. Yep. Sure did. But before my loved ones start to worry, I just want to reassure you...it wasn't that bad. Fire is a funny thing. It can be so helpful, so comfortable. We like a fireplace. We like the way the wood crackles as it burns. We love the glow of it as it warms the house.
But when there were live flames licking at the rafters last December, I can tell you no warm and fuzzy feelings entered my mind. It was my first 911 call ever. And it was so hard not to cry in front of the wide eyes of my daughters and nephew as we waited for the fire truck and watched my husband battle the fire with the garden hose.
I can tell you, too, that I was angry at first. I had plans for the day. I had supper prepped and it was nap time for the kids. A huge snowstorm was on the way. I wanted to snuggle down in my own home as the snowflakes began to fall. But God had other plans and He used a fire to smoke us out.
We are glad he did. It turns out that because the little electrical fire started in the middle of the day, before the snow hit, while we were all awake, with the wind at the right angle to keep the flames from growing, the House volunteer fire department on the way, and my husband home to keep it from spreading--well, the perfect timing of it all saved the house and our lives. And the days spent snuggled in at my dad's house during during winter storm Goliath was fun and memory-building.
Fire is a beautiful thing. I think fire has meaning for those of us who long to grow, who long to change.
Fire can burn away the things we cling to. Fire can demolish old habits. Fire can make room for something new, something better, something we give over to God and let him show us His amazing will for our lives.
Fire also warms us. It moves us. It bites and blisters. We can all use that kind of discipline,
I look over my life and wonder what I could throw into the flames. Selfish attitudes? My need to snack when I'm anxious? My refusal to slow down and give God five minutes when my day is hectic?
There are a lot of things I wouldn't mind tossing into the furnace. But it is rather hard, isn't it? Some of our habits are our anchors. Some of our attitudes we feel belong to our personality and are perhaps not available for burning.
Fire is scary.
Yet what do we sacrifice by holding on? We already know what life is like with our current conditions. And we know there is better. We just need to find it. We need to make room for God to do His good work in our lives.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
So, tell me. What are you going to throw into the flames?
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"...and God was already there with me."