Not Consumed

Father, as I sit here with You this morning I am watching the fire as it dances about in the stove. It has an alluring beauty but as the minutes tick by the wood once whole and solid is consumed. Yes, it is used up, but in doing so it gives heat to the whole house. We prepare the wood by cutting and splitting and stacking and covering it, when these have been done, the wood is ready to serve. We have invested time and energy in getting it ready but until it is set aflame, it accomplishes nothing. If it is not used, over time outside factors, insects, fungus, and moisture will render it useless.

Lord, each of us was created for a purpose. We have been prepared, by Your hand, to serve as You see fit but, unlike the wood, we can choose to not be used. All that You have invested in us comes to naught.

We fear the fire…but unlike wood, we are not consumed, we are refined. The impurities in our lives are burning away as we are exposed to Your holy fire. It does not destroy us but brings us closer to what we were created to be. The sin of the world is purged and wholeness, found only in You, is restored.

Lord, more often than I care to admit, I can say with the Puritan writer, “I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles…” But I also, as he, can proclaim,

“Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble pride.
 Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life,
     from everything that is natural to fallen man,
         and let Christ’s nature be seen in me day by day.”

Amen.

Jan 5th, Thurs, 7:10 am