Hey Friend! Isn’t fall/ the early days of winter strange? Well, at least in New York it is. We can have 8″ of snow then 3 days later it will warm up and rain for days like it is spring. I mean make up your mind already. Let’s just get this cold snow season started so it will hopefully end sooner. (Ha! doubtful) That is exactly what happened this past week. The temperature had been in the 50’s for 2 days with rain. Then the forecast said that the temps were actually going to drop and a mini snow storm was coming (mini, 3″-6″)
I had a thought. I am going to be prepared tomorrow morning for this snow that is coming. I mean if I am going to wake up and it is going to be a winter wonderland, I want to be ready.
I set the scene in my head. The perfect morning mood. Fireplace lit, Christmas tree lights on. My coffee and devotional, worship music. Ahhh. Sigh. I could hardly wait to hear my alarm go off at 5:20! I know crazy right?
I got to work creating my “perfect” morning. I got the fireplace all ready to go. The wood perfectly stacked with a tiny fire starter so I didn’t have to fight with it. Paper stuffed underneath. All I had to do was open the damper, light it. Turn on the Christmas tree lights. Bam! Perfect morning on its way.
And so it began. 5:20, alarm goes off. I get out of bed and as I am walking down the stairs I could already smell the coffee brewing. I went to start the fire first to get it going before I poured my coffee. Opened the damper. Lit the paper and…… something isn’t right! Instead of the smoke going up and out the chimney it began to pour into the living room. OH MY GOODNESS!! I opened and closed the damper quick to see if it was stuck. Nope. I ran to shut off the alarm then proceeded to open the doors and windows. Then I ran upstairs to get my husband. His response… did you pour water on it? What? Pour water on my perfect scene? Are you crazy!
What a way to start your day. Dreams crushed! Smoke filled living room. How am I going to redeem my perfect mood? I literally refused to give it up. I sat under a blanket with one window open and the fire going. Oh my gosh I am laughing out loud right now picturing it. I am a very determined person right? (It was concluded that the water sitting on top of the chimney somehow froze over night. Then all that snow on top made a barrier.) Ugh! Seriously.
My first thought when the fire began to smoke so much was this. “I thought I did everything right?” “I mean I have been making fires since I was like 5 (no lie) What did I do wrong? I thought I was ready. But still all the smoke poured right back into the house.
But God never wastes a moment. He immediately showed me something. Hopefully it will bless you like it did me.
The “fire” represents the storms in our lives. The smoke? The smoke is the way we react to the storm. If I am being honest I have had fires in my life that have had a lot more smoke than I would have liked. I react in fear, doubt and all the freaking out inside. This is exactly how I felt when I heard the words “Your husband has brain cancer” WHAT?
The fear. Doubt. Uncertainty. Anxiety. Depression. The smoke began to pour out. Not only did it surround me like a cloud but it also began to fill my entire soul. As I stuffed it all down deep in a desperate act to hide what was really happening in me. Dear God, Why though? What is happening? I thought I was prepared? I thought I was doing everything right? I mean I spend time reading my bible. I Worship. I go to a church that teaches me how to stand in Faith and have Hope in you. I know all the right scriptures to quote when the devil tries to bring me down.
It wouldn’t be until 11 months later on a Tuesday Morning in November. Sitting in a bible study God answered my cry.
You do have faith. And hope. But your faith and hope are not anchored on my promises. They are anchored on you doing all the right things. Believing that if you say your confessions, take communion, worship me and read your bible then victory will come. That is not how I operate. Yes, those things are important so you stay filled with me but they are not to be used as a way for you to control what happens.
Anchor your hope on the promises that I spoke. Victory is already here. It is in the finished work of the cross. When I sent Jesus to redeem you from the curse. IT IS DONE. Anchor yourself on that. Then just stand still. Trust me.
Some fires we are definitely not prepared for. But if we anchor ourselves in the word of God with hope and trust, the smoke will go up to the heart of God. Our ship will remain steady on His spoken Word.
I want to encourage you today. If you are finding yourself in an unexpected “fire” go to the Word of God. Seek His promise for your situation.