“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”
As May approaches, I have a lot of feelings and fears that are bubbling to the surface of my heart. These are fears and emotions that I thought I had smothered out. I stuffed them way down and hoped to never see them again. Ha! You see, last May, I almost lost my 3 month old baby to pneumonia. For two weeks I watched my tiny, helpless little girl fight for her life in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. For eight days she was unconscious and was only able to breathe with the help of a ventilator. Once we got her home I just wanted to celebrate the miracle that God had done in our lives. Later on, some of the emotions I was still carrying had to be dealt with, while the rest got shoved down further in my pile of “I’ll get to you later junk.”
Over the past few days I have been making my way through that pile of “I’ll get to you laters.” As I have worked my way through, there is one theme that God seems to be speaking to my heart. Last May, we walked through fire. But we were not consumed. Because of the Lord’s great love, we were not consumed. Hebrews 12:19 says that “our God is a consuming fire.” That stood out to me today. I am praying for some people walking through some really tough circumstances: worrisome tumors, cancer, kids with cancer, tornadoes, deaths of loved ones due to these tornadoes that are sweeping the nation, lost homes. These circumstances are devastating. They seem like a consuming fire, yet scripture tells us that our circumstances will not consume us. Our God is our consuming fire.
What is a consuming fire? Let’s break it down a bit further. A fire is something that gives light. It can also be defined as a destructive burning. Consuming is an adjective that means to be strongly felt. I bet a lot of you liked where I was going with God being the light that is strongly felt, but were you tempted to jump ship when I mentioned the destructive burning? Stay with me. Yes, God is the light in our darkness. He is the consuming light in our darkness that heats us up and lights our way. But He’s also the destructive burning that burns away the parts of us that need to go, like the refiner’s fire. He will use our circumstances to mold us into who He wants us to become. Just like a goldsmith will melt down gold and mold it back up into a masterpiece, God can melt us down and build us back up into His masterpiece. Knowing that last May, I walked through fire but was not consumed is a truth that will help set me free from the fears that still linger. Furthermore, seeing how God, my consuming fire, used last May to melt away the parts of me that needed to go and molded me into a stronger woman of God is like healing balm to a burn.
Father God, Consume me. I want to feel you with me, Lord. Light my way, bring heat to my cold, shivering heart. Clear away the parts of me that need to go. Lord, I need you. I cry out to you, my Consuming Fire. I love you, Amen.