|Fire and Flame|
Mark 9:49 "For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
An all-consuming, exhilarating, and cleansing experience. Every Christian yearns for it, but at the searing heat, draws away in tears, crying out at the Father in agony. Or worse…anger. Familiar?
That’s the only explanation for the misery in an otherwise wonderful Christian life, right? What else could be responsible for thirty-six surgeries or excruciating pain? Or sleepless nights? The list goes on and on. I’m sure others can add much worse items to it. After all, I don’t believe His Fire is reserved for any one person.
But why? Isn’t God supposed to be love? I distinctly remember learning about that. Love, joy, peace, and hope. When was pain part of the Christian walk?
Quite the question. What would Jesus say to that one?
I asked it over and over, of many people and received different answers. Some comforting, but others shook the very foundation of my faith. Well-intentioned, all offered in the belief of right. I can hear it now. What on earth did you hear? The curiosity is mounting. Don’t worry, it’s not that bad.
Anyway… after much suffering, both physical and mental, I sought answers from friends (albeit Christian). In their spiritual wisdom, they responded. Such advice included “Put your needs on the prayer chain, everything will be fine,” “The Lord says your faith will heal you, Renee. You need to have more faith,” and “Sin…it must be sin, Renee.”
The above comments weren’t vindictive or mean. They were spoken in love by godly women who firmly believed what they said. I left their counsel more confused, and shattered than I entered. In many ways, I have no one to blame for that but myself.
Instead of seeking the counsel of the Lord, I sought Man. A hard lesson to learn, especially when over the heat of the Fire.
My life isn’t easy but then God never said it would be, did He? God said He would never leave me nor forsake me. I would never be alone. But He also promised I would be seasoned with fire and salt so this life, in the end would be worthy…to be called Christian.
When is pain part of the Christian walk? When stepping through God’s Sweet Fire.
Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net.