Friday, July 10, 2015

Consuming Fire

There are some days when we need a forest fire...in our minds. At least I do. Maybe you're different and have it all together. God bless you if so. He's still working on me.

My adventurous, teenage son had been asked to burn a scrap pile around the back of the house. He willingly did so as I went about my business. I thought nothing of it; he had done this many times before. Except, on this particular day he was in a hurry to get somewhere...and apparently the fire wasn't completely extinguished before he decided all was well and left. I walked past the kitchen window a while later and saw...smoke. Wait, that was supposed to be gone by now! Upon further inspection I realized the wooded area around the back of my house was on fire...and I was now home alone! Needless to say, we were the new, not-so-proud owners of quite a large area of "black grass" in our backyard. The fire burned quickly, consuming everything in its path. 

I'll be transparent right here and admit: some days the thoughts that attempt to hang out in my mind are not "pure, lovely, of good report..." - Uugh! There, I said it. I didn't say these were the thoughts I wanted to be on my mind...it's just the ones that slip through the cracks occasionally. You know the kind:

"I keep messing everything up."  
"No matter what I do, it will be wrong."
" I think others will be better off right now if I just stay to myself till I get it together."
"I'm a failure! How can I please God?"
"There's no hope."

Maybe you can add to the list. Face it, some days we're just not as vigilant and on guard as we should be for one reason or another. (Am I by myself in this dilemma?) It's on those days that we need to let a forest fire burn within our minds. We have the best fire starter available. As much as He is a God of love, He is also a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29) You might wonder, "How can something that destroys - save at the same time?" Romans 12:2, "...but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind..."  - this is how it happens. Allowing God to issue a controlled burn - until all we're left with is a patch of proof that something was there. Those invasive thoughts aren't from God anyhow.

As Paul Harvey is known for...here's the rest of the story: Following the "black grass" stage, we were the proud owners of beautiful, luscious green grass...but only in that patch of the yard which had been burned. That's the way our minds can be once we allow God to purge them. We don't have to allow those thoughts to continually bombard us and make us feel defeated. We have a choice. Don't hide away because it's ugly, let Him transform your thoughts into something beautiful.