I stink at making a fire. Well, I did. To my defense, I never had a fireplace growing up. My brothers and I would go out to the fire pit (really it was just the place we burned the trash) gather up pine needles, throw in some sticks, light it and there you go. Nothing fancy. It wouldn’t burn for long. But then we’d just throw on some more needles or whatever else we’d find on the ground. But, a fireplace is a different beast. It’s technical and there’s a method. Well, only if you want that beautiful, long lasting kind of fire.
The other day, I’m home alone and cold. So, excited to have the “homey” feel of a fireplace, I decide to build/make a fire. I grab a log, put it in, wad up some newspaper, put it underneath, light it – there you go, right? Nope. My newspaper burned beautifully, for about 20 seconds. Then nothing. “It’s wood! It’s supposed to burn!,” I yell at my stubborn fireplace.
Later on, my wonderful husband, seeing my frustration, had mercy on me. He chopped up some logs into small logs – well, more like sticks. He instructed me to place the sticks in first. Then the log on top. My equally wonderful brother-in-law provided some “fire starter” which is balls of – something – that will burn for a long period of time. Long enough for the logs to catch fire.
Wait for it……I can now make a fire. Applause please.
So, what was I doing wrong? I didn’t have the knowledge of how to do it correctly. I also didn’t have the tools. But, my husband did. He loved me enough to give me direction and provide me with the right tools. See where I’m going with this?
We try and try to do things on our own. To do a job that we can’t possibly do. And we make a mess of our lives. And we fail. We fail miserably. We don’t possess the ability. We don’t have enough talent. We aren’t good enough for that job. And we’ll never be. We need Help. Someone with greater knowledge than we have. Someone with the right tools for the job. That Someone is Christ. What tool does Christ give us? His word. Where is this knowledge we need? In His Word. Many of you may read this and think, “Who can’t make a fire? It’s so simple!” And so are the directions God gives us to have the kind of life that He wants for us.
Luke 10:27 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” Also, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
It’s simple. It’s not easy – the Christian life is never easy. But, it is simple. And if we choose to follow His direction and use the tools He gives us – He’ll light a fire in our hearts that nothing can quench. Praise God for that!
God, Thank you for the lesson in the fire – or lack of fire. Please give me a spiritual fire that will burn for You everyday. Help me to feed it with Your words and to hide them there. I want the life You want for me.
Scriptures I need to read today:
“…in Christ, he chose us before the world was made so that we would be his holy people—people without blame before him. Because of his love, God had already decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what he wanted and what pleased him, and it brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace. God gave that grace to us freely, in Christ, the One he loves. In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. “
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”