During our winter months in southern Brazil there is nothing better than when I hear the sound of my husband breaking up kindling because he is about to build a fire in the wood-burning stove.
I don’t know why the sound of sticks cracking and the iron lid scraping across the top of the stove makes me so happy, but it does. I always relish those moments and wait for the smell of the smoke to reach my nose before I dash out from under my warm blankets and head for the coffee maker.
The warmth of the fire usually can’t be felt at that point of the early morning, but I know that it will be coming and that hope creates a feeling of happiness as I shiver by the counter and stir sugar into my coffee. Oh sure, the temptation to crawl back under my warm covers is always there, but when I look over to the stove and then to the fireplace where a second fire has been built, there is no resisting the orange flames dancing. They might as well be calling my name, “Sheri! Good morning! Come see us!” And I don’t have to be asked twice.
Every time Mark goes into that cold living room in the wee hours, there is no one there building a fire for him. He puts on his jacket, goes outside in the elements and picks out some logs and kindling in order to build a fire for himself and our family. I am rustled out of the bed because of something Mark does and I go cook breakfast. The children smell the food and they come down and gather with us….all because Mark took it upon himself to do what needed to be done when no one was looking and when no one was helping.
This perfectly illustrates what it is like to get up and pray and walk with God. True spiritual success doesn’t happen behind a pulpit or in a blog or out in front of people. True spiritual success happens behind a closed door where no one can see and no one knows. It is that time of aloneness with God which kindles the fire in us that begins to manifest in our outward testimony, and this is what will draw others to come see what the commotion is about.
Mark knew that he would eventually be warmed by the fire, but he also knew that his efforts would make me and the children happy. The faith, hope and joy all wrapped up in this illustration is what the writer of Hebrews is alluding to when he tells us that we should:
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25
Let’s act on our faith because of the knowledge we have of our Saviour. Let’s work and serve God from the moment we get up in the morning when no one is watching and no one cares. Then let’s draw other Christians alongside of us and serve together being assured that the more of us there are proclaiming the TRUTH of God’s Word, the more that will be able to hear it and come around to see what the commotion is about.
Did you get up and build a fire in your soul today as you read the Word? If not, find some time and go dwell in the Scripture and meet with God. Your testimony will be altered because of it and it may very well encourage another to join you.
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
READ THE BIBLE THROUGH WITH ME IN 36 WEEKS!
Today’s reading: Leviticus 8 / II kings 13-14 / Psalm 64 / Hebrews 12