I have been struggling lately with seeing the truth of who I am, and not liking what I see. I wish I could somehow wipe the slate of my life clean and start over. I know that’s what God’s forgiveness and the power of His redemption are supposed to accomplish, but I can’t say I feel very redeemed. I am still my sinful self.
My son BJ and I worked at cleaning up the back yard today. We have one corner of the yard where we have dumped branches and old pieces of wood and garbage that need to be bagged up and set out at the street to be picked up. The easiest (and most fun) way to clean up this corner was to get a fire going in the fire pit and just start adding to it until we ran out of fuel. At some points it was tough going because the branches and wood were a bit wet, but then when other pieces were added to the fire, they caught quickly and the fire burned bright and hot. And then there were the coals. I found a good stick to poke around at the fire and as I poked at the coals, my stick started to burn. It looked like the fire had mostly gone out, but the coals remained hot enough to ignite the stick. Even setting the stick in close proximity of the coals would re-ignite it again.
As I sat enjoying the warmth of the coals and watching my stick catch on fire again … I was reminded of the verse in Revelation 3:
15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”
And as I reflected on my life, I would have to say that I am lukewarm. And as I read those verses in Revelation, I have to admit that I am wretched, miserable, poor and blind (and naked in the sense that I am feeling quite vulnerable writing this.) I might be like the bright fire when fresh kindling is added – it burns brightly and intensely for a time, but then ebbs quickly. What I want to be is like the coals that stay hot for a long time and when other “combustibles” are in proximity of the coals, they begin to ignite as well.
I don’t quite know how to accomplish that, but I think it starts with a humble heart, a desire to know the Father and be used by Him, and a willingness to follow wherever and however He leads.
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