🎶There was a time…then it all went wrong🎶 “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables.

Growing up hanging around pyromaniacs fostered in me a love for fire.  Fire can be a fierce destroyer,

I know, but such terrifying beauty still fascinates me. Recently, the phrase “beauty from ashes” has caught my fascination as well.

Ashes are what’s left over. To my knowledge, they serve no purpose.  The fire has consumed all it can. The embers have died, however long they tried to burn on. Fire may catch quickly, but once it truly does catch, it burns thoroughly until it destroys all within reach. When the fire’s task is complete, all that remains is useless, worthless ashes. At best, the ashes are the evidence that there had once been a fire.

🎶This is my prayer in the fire, in weakness or trial or pain: this is my prayer in my hour of need: my God is the God who provides!🎶 “Desert Song” by Hillsong

It comes as no breaking news story to you when I say that this world can be cruel and heartless. Tragedy surrounds us every day, but closer to home than that, we have to battle with our personal tragedies and struggles. Daily. On every front.  Work stresses us out to our wit’s end.  Family problems are neverending: medical, mental, in the nucleus of the family or a beloved member far away. On top of it all, if you’re anything like me, you have this bizarre yet unyielding burden to keep up, at the very least, an appearance, of unwavering strength. And again, if you’re anything like me, you try to take this task on by yourself.

Eventually, this much fire will consume you entirely. And as someone who has been mentally consumed by the fire several times, do not think for a moment that continuing with your daily routines means that you are not ablaze. It’s one of the enemy’s best tricks he plays on me.  We can be burning up from the inside, and it’s been increasing so steadily and patiently for so long that we have no idea of the inevitable destruction.

“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Though this verse is not addressed specifically to us, I do not think for a moment that God loves His people today any less than He did in the Old Testament. When we are completely burned up and have nothing left, God will still look lovingly at us and bring us up out of the pit.

Your Creator knows you weren’t made to withstand the fire.  Not alone.  The only fire-survivors I know of did so with His help.  Your Father knows your limits; He made you with them. When the fire destroys everything I am, everything I’ve worked for, every success I’ve struggled to achieve and leaves me to be blown away by the wind, my Αββα Father (Daddy, if you please) is there to pick me up and breathe back into my life and purpose. And He makes it good and beautiful.

Update on Kendra- Kendra feels like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3) in the fire.  Life might be difficult, but she is enjoying the presence of God and trusting the fire to do God’s work.  After meeting the two specialist this week, she is preparing for surgery.  No details have been determined.

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