Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Lord of Fires

Wherefore glory ye in the Lord of fires
even the name of the Lord God of Israel ... 
~ Isaiah 24:15

Temperatures here are beginning to dip nightly into the low 40s. Soon the plummet will continue downward into the 30s and 20s. This is snow country, and one can even expect a few bone-chilling days in the teens.  The how to of staying warm obviously becomes relevant. 

It's been a long while since we owned a wood burning fireplace, but here in rural, cold America they are common fare.  From pretty contraptions that match fine decor to pot-bellied stoves and everything in between most folks in this valley put them to good use.  Since we are now among them, we plan to do likewise.  So I've been preparing for those declining, numbing numbers.

In years gone by my husband and I would trundle to the trees, chainsaw at the ready, to cut our own firewood.  We loved the entire process of tramping through the wood, kicking through newly fallen leaves ~ some dry & crispy; others beginning to decay ~ sniffing out the profusion of organic scents, finding the right tree, then cutting & hauling log rounds home.  Those forays typically entailed flannel shirts, warm gloves, boots & a dose of hot cocoa. That was long ago when we had a limber lumbar for lumber. Today we pick up the phone and order it instead ~ hot cocoa in hand, of course.   

No matter how it arrives, I always enjoy surveying those parts of the yard where cord wood is stacked.  It's as if I've given winter the green light to begin in earnest; a sort of neener-neener.  It gives me a sense of security.  I feel ready.  

It has occurred to me that getting & staying warm and raising a fire has linkage to my growth and/or effectiveness as a believer, too. Wood ~ fuel ~ is but one provision for being ready.  One cannot get too secure or too complacent too soon, if ever.  There's much more to consider, not the least of which is the kindling necessary to spark a fire into a flame.

  • "Is is possible that the seemingly dry spells in my life are highly flammable & necessary for a burst of flame?"
  • "What sort of tinder in my life am I fanning?"  
  • "Am I looking for a quick light, an easy fire; or am I willing to submit to the tougher burn?" 
  • "Once the kindling's caught fire, what fuel have I given it to burn?"
  • "Am I in for the slow burn, or do I burn-out, fizzle quickly?"
  • "Is the aroma of the burn pleasing & useful to God?"

These & like questions have rolled through my thoughts like waves upon the shore as I ready for winter.  They're not intrusive thoughts, just persistent.  And I know they're important; which is why I am prayerfully considering each as I consider/gather the right stuff for a blaze: the sort of tinder that's meant to bless as it burns.

But thanks be to God, who always leads
us as captives in Christ's triumphal
procession and uses us to spread the 
aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.
For we are to God the pleasing aroma of
Christ among those who are being saved
and those who are perishing.
To the one we are an aroma that brings death;
to the other, an aroma that brings life.
~ 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

I remind you to fan into flame the 
gift of God, which is in you through 
the laying on of hands.  
~ 1 Timothy 1:6

These (trials, kindling) have come so that the 
proven genuineness of your faith 
~ of greater worth than gold, 
which perishes even though refined by fire
may result in praise, glory and honor 
when Jesus Christ is revealed.
~ 1 Peter 1:7

Behold, I have refined thee, but not
with silver; I have chosen thee in the 
furnace of affliction.
~ Isaiah 48:10


Rebecca said...

What a wonderful adventure this winter will be. I envy your fire! We don't have a fireplace, but I often imagine the comfort and warmth of sitting in front of one of our own....

I also appreciate the analogy you've made. While the Refiner's fire isn't a "feel good" one, the end result is SO desirable to me.

Sharon said...

We have spent two winters up in the mountains, and I have to admit that one of the things that I love the most is curling up in front of our wood-burning fireplace! My hubby loves stacking the wood, and chopping up the logs for kindling. You are going to find that those cold temperatures, some great blankets, a cup of warm coffee or tea, and a roaring fire all spell - C O Z Y!!

I loved the lessons that you taught about fire! Yes, may I be refined in the fire so that my feeble flames are fanned by the Holy Spirit into a heart that burns for the Lord!


Sonja Goodson said...

Can you hear me laughing at the comment you left?? That would be the miracle of the century! :)

As to this blog, what a good lesson Kathleen, I do NOT want to fizzle in this life, but to stay the course and let His refinement process continue.

Love you sister!

"limber lumbar for lumber"... smiling.

Nancy said...

What a thoughtful post to remind us to keep our spiritual fires burning brightly and to not let the flame go out….Just as we have to tend a wood fire we must attend to our spiritual fire..
I so appreciate that you always point us back to the Maker of all things….

I really appreciate your comment on my blog. You reminded me to not feel pressure to blog but to post when I wanted to…thanks.

Just a little something from Judy said...

You continue to spread the aroma of God and His great love with those of us in the blogging world. Your fire burns brightly and offers so much warmth and light to me. Thank you!

I like picturing you in flannels and jeans, and of course, I think the hot chocolate should always be in your hand, to add sweetness throughout the cold winter. Thanks for blessing my day today!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I have spent time in the refiner's fire. I have also been guilty of wanting to start a quick fire, and not taking the time needed to start a good fire. I like your analogy and like that you make me think once again.

I miss you and think of you so often!

Wishing you joy today!