“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” 1 Peter 1:3-8
Outside looked grey like rain, yet all was dry, with lots of wind. It’s smoke, choking the wind swaying the trees, choking my senses with its pungent smell, ash particles, and haze. My throat burns, coughs, my eyes sting trying to see clear edges through. Brush fires ignite and quickly spread destruction and irritation that are difficult to manage and quell.
There’s a brush fire inside me today, a pesky spark of irritation and unease that’s captured surrounding dry mind space and taken off. Unchecked thoughts spread to unleashed attitudes to unfiltered words, leaving a dark cloud of sting and regret and burnt opportunities.
Where have I allowed tinder of fear or doubt to grow dry and brittle, left void of the soak of what is true, only to allow them to spread and lick up all comfort and hope? Am I letting anger at reactions, restrictions on my world, and reverberating messages of doom to ignite, then stoking it to flame by my unchecked tongue? Where have sparks of malaise, disquiet, and despair come to life in my spiritual outlook and begun to spread, vanquishing my remembrance of God’s past faithfulness and swallowing my trust that God reigns over all things? (Psalm 47:2-4,8; 66:5-12; Philippians 4:8)
I make my way through the smoke to my Lord, and submit to the firehose of His living word.
“Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of your holy word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfil in us
All Your purposes, for Your glory.
Teach us Lord full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility.
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise
Cause our eyes to see,
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of power that can never fail;
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.” ~Keith Getty, Stuart Townend (2006)
These fiery trials test us, purifying what we believe, in our blindness, about God’s glorious order.
Lord, keep me soaking in You. Extinguish my carking brush fires with Your stronger Spirit and truth. Awaken rejoicing and hopeful faith into the blessing and praising of Your name!