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
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