– by Anne Say
Every new decade of my life has been marked by significant events. Turning the corner into my 40’s is marked by three things I wasn’t expecting. Divorce. Gray hair. Bifocal lenses.
Today, those are the things that course-corrected my life. Especially the bifocals. My heart would heal from another divorce (my 2nd). A box of color would cover the gray. But there was no easy fix for my eyes. Looking back, wearing bifocals has been a constant reminder of how to walk with God, especially in the fires of life.
We’ve all been through a few of life’s fires. Fires happen to us, because of us, in spite of us. They can be debilitating, distracting, or just plain disturbing. For you and me, fires generally always happen in areas where our faith is tested.
In the past I didn’t have faith in the fire. I’d freak in the fire. Or flee. Sometimes I’d fight with God in the fire. I’ve learned lots of ways not to do things.
(Photo Credit: guido-jansen-Nz-zAt4qiuU-
The Lord spoke pretty darn clearly to Israel about faith in the fire. Check out what He said in Isaiah 43:1-3 (TPT)
Now, this is what Yahweh says: “Listen, Jacob, to the One who created you, Israel, to the one who shaped who you are. Do not fear, for I, your Kinsman-Redeemer, will rescue you. I have called you by name, and you are mine. When you pass through the deep, stormy sea, you can count on me to be there with you. When you pass through raging rivers, you will not drown. When you walk through persecution like fiery flames, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you, for I am your Savior, Yahweh, your mighty God, the Holy One of Israel!
God covers us in the fire, and He covers us in the stormy sea and the raging rivers. Whatever we walk through, He’s got us covered.
A good pair of bifocals helps us see more clearly, to have faith in the fire.
The top part of the bifocal is for the big picture. The bottom part of the bifocal is for the close-up stuff. Where they meet is a transition, the big picture focus meets the up-close view.
The top part of the bifocal is when we know what scripture says. We know the big picture about the nature and character of God. We know what the big picture plan is and it gives us hope.
(Image by 272447 from Pixabay)
The bottom part of the bifocal is where we walk. It’s the circumstances that are the fire we are walking through. Life is up close and personal, and our emotions run high and wide.
The transition place, where the big picture meets the place we’re walking, is what we’re talking about. It’s where you have faith in the fire. It’s where your faith grows.
My deepest passion is helping people make sense of life and faith. Being able to see the big picture and walk through the fires, rivers, and storms. It’s where we make sense of faith and life. It’s where we meet Jesus, just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their faith in the fire caused things to happen. First, they encountered the pre-incarnate Jesus. Second, they got promoted in Nebuchadnezzar’s cabinet. Third, Nebuchadnezzar was so moved that he changed his decree from “worship the golden image” to “decreeing that anyone who spoke against God should be torn limb from limb.” All because they had faith in the fire.
Learning to see through the transition part of the lens isn’t easy. But God is patient and always encouraging us. Marry the big picture with your circumstances and watch where God shows up in your fire.
Making sense of it.
- What fire are you in today?
- Are you tempted to flee? To freak? To fight? Whichever way you’re bending, lay it down in Jesus’s hands.
- What scripture promise is God pronouncing over you? Ask Him what He is saying about the fire. Ask Him what His plan and provision are for you.
- Lastly, write them down. Keep them somewhere visible to you every day. Read them aloud, especially as you declare them.
- Watch what God does with you, through you, as you exercise your faith in the fire.
This blog post was written by Anne B. Say
Anne is the author of Daring to Hope: Simple Everyday Tools to Defeat Discouragement, The Peculiar Pirates of Okefenokee, and The Peculiar Pirates of Okefenokee Have a Talent Show.
You can check out her website here: AnneBSay.com.
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