Close to the Fire

19 Jan

Am I being held in the refining flame?  Am I experiencing  Holy Discomfort as it strips away my fleshly confidence and replaces it with a humility and dependence on the Lighter of the Fire?  No one longs for nearness to the flame when it hurts, but our souls long for true intimacy with the Father.  The flame offers searing illumination.  Sometimes we struggle to acknowledge what is revealed.  Are you like me?  Has our faith, at times, stood in what we thought we saw from the place of darkness where we had wondered?  The darkness of our own understanding compared to the radiance of revelation of Pure Truth.

Light and heat…they are partners.We scarcely noticed the cooling as we began to move away from the warmth of the fire.  Or the diminished dimness of the reflection of the Fire in our eyes.  In the escalating darkness we experienced the cold.  We could no longer pretend to see and the encroaching chill sucked away the self-deception that our own strength was enough.  Crucifixion of pride was the pain and the price of reentry to the presence of the glow and Divine circumstance, sometime consequence, beckoned us back.  Did we hate the hesitation, the holding back, that  accompanied to invitation to return?

Have you experienced placing nearly frostbitten fingers near a candle?  Heat is needed for thawing but it hurts.  The momentary pain and stiffness ebbs away in a process of returning blood flow through flesh.  The pain of the refining flame is the stiffness of shame.  It is still Flowing Blood that provides relief.  Resolving to remain close to the Fire results in the refinement required  for intimate relationship with our Redeemer.  Pride is replaced by reliance on hope shared with our hearts as flesh is rejuvenated by circulation of the Spirit.  Father, keep me close to the Fire.

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