Feeling the fire

My husband is very fond of a statement that we heard Beth Moore say many times during Sunday morning class at Houston’s First Baptist: “God burns away the fake.” I find that when I am feeling mired in depression, confusion, loneliness, and near desperation for God to make our path clear, that my thoughts often turn to the very strong possibility that God is using the murkiness of our life right now to “burn away the fake.”

What do we want from our life? What do we want from our marriage? Who is God molding us to be in His purpose-plan? And what does it take to get there? Who will we choose to be on this path? How will we respond to God?

There are 2 places in God’s word that are speaking to me clearly about this struggle:

“Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw — each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (I Corinthians 3:12-15)

“…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.” (I Peter 1:6-7)

And finally, what prompted this post today, are the lyrics of one of my favorite Nichole Nordeman songs (“Burnin” on the album Wide Eyed 1998):

Started rubbing sticks together

Thought a spark would take forever

Never dreamed this fire would appear 

When Moses saw the bush in flames

And heard the branches speak his name

I wonder if he felt this kind of fear

 

Cuz I’m burnin’, yeah I’m burnin’

And I know I’m gonna blister in these flames

But I’ll stay here till this smoke clears

And I’ll find You in the ashes that remain

 

Used to be that I could say

My faith was one arm’s length away

From any flame that ever felt too warm 

Asked for matches, but I received

A gallon full of gasoline

And now my cozy campfire days are gone 

“Knock with caution at the door,” they said

“Beware of what you’re praying for”

So I’ll stand with my whole desire

In the middle of this forest fire

Till I’ve nothing left to show

And new life begins to grow

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