Feeding the Fire
by Ryan Duncan
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. - 1 Chronicles 16:11
Earlier this year I went fishing with my family up in the boundary waters of Minnesota. Ironically, the first day we pushed out onto the lake in our canoes, the weather was ideal. The sun was shining, the sky was clear, and it was warm but with a nice breeze to take the edge off. Then, like something out of a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, the weather made a sudden shift. The next morning we got up to find a cloud had descended over the lake.
It wasn’t raining per say, it was more like all the moisture in the area had gotten together and decided to smother our campsite. It was cold, it was damp, and all we could really do was huddle together for warmth. Finally I couldn’t stand it any longer, I was going to build a fire. We had all tried earlier that morning, but the damp wood was nearly impossible to burn. With no lighter fluid and only a couple of matches, I realized I was going to have to do this the hard way.
First I started off with small kindling, pine needles, leaves, twigs. Then I moved on to sticks and paper. It took a long time, but at last I got a decent sized flame that would burn the big logs despite the fact that they were damp. You can be sure, now that we finally had a roaring fire there was no way we were going to let it go out. I bring this up because I believe the concept of building a fire is similar to building a relationship with God.
When a friend of mine recently said he didn’t want to lose “the fire” God had given his spirit, I couldn’t help but remember that cold morning in Minnesota. The Holy Spirit will give us the passion and endurance to live Godly lives, but like a campfire, it will eventually burn down to embers if not supplemented by our own actions. It can be hard work at times. You’ll need to start with kindling like daily prayer and scripture reading, follow up with something bigger like volunteering at Church, and then maybe apply a large commitment like ministry. It won’t be easy, and there will be times when it all seems useless, but in the end the Holy Spirit will burn all brighter.
Remember the words of Matthew,
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
Intersecting Faith and Life: Look for ways to build up your faith in daily life. What actions can you take to make a difference?