Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord. When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. Romans 12:11-12 NIV
The sun had begun her descent, casting long shadows across the field. The aroma of smoked beef and chicken hung in the air enticing my stomach to growl. As the last of the shoppers made their way to the parking lot we began to pull down the tent and repack our boxes. It had been a long day but nonetheless fun, we had met several people and made a little cash. Finally everything was done, coolers topped off with ice, cars carefully packed and the smoker strapped to the back of the trailer, it was finally time to go. Tired, sunburned and hungry, I pulled behind my friend, forming our convoy. The trailer she towed bounced and shook as we began the mountain climb.
Gaining speed, I noticed that the smoker had begun to cough up little puffs of smoke. By the time we started down the mountain, those little coughs had become a steady billow of black smoke. I blew my horn and flashed the lights. We took another deep curve, gathering speed and that is when it happened. I flashed my lights, then blew the horn and crossed over the middle line to get her attention. The whole time I was yelling at my Bluetooth to call. Finally I had a signal, relieved I shouted my command again as I blew the horn and flashed my lights. This was becoming serious, the smoker was engulfed in dancing orange flames. Hot debris flew out, causing sparks as they hit the pavement bouncing down the country road.
The ringing stopped and I yelled, “you are on fire”! She pulled to the side of the road and together we doused the flames and checked the ropes eager to insure our safety as we continued the trip. Once the flames had been reduced to sizzling smoking ash, we laughed a bit. Doubled checked the trailer, and headed back to the cabin. It had been an exciting few minutes. After hours of the smoker not being used and cool to touch, it was obvious that at least one ember had held enough heat to be revived.
You may be feeling like the fire has gone out in your spiritual life. Especially during this year and even now in the holiday season. In many ways it does not feel much like Christmas and I am sad to not be able to spend it with my family. Although the world may not feel much like Christmas, we should carry it with us year round. Christmas is not a date, or simply a holiday. It is a time to reflect and give praise to God for providing a way of salvation through His son. I think that this week’s verse in the book of Romans is good advice in the face of adversity, uncertainty and an overwhelming sadness. Paul understood hardship. He knew loss, hunger, pain, rejection and I am sure at some times defeat and sadness. At that time in history all those that were subject to Roman rule also understood these things well. Because Paul understood he wrote these words to the Romans and us. “Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive.”
You and I may feel like the fire has died down, but as long as there is even an ember, the fire can be revived. Do not allow anything to extinguish the fire in your heart for Jesus. Continue to serve the Lord and in hope find your joy. Though many of us are facing suffering, be patient and pray faithfully.
Fan those embers. Revive your fire for Jesus!
The best is yet to come!
Typist for Jesus