Different Season, Different Fire

This glorious pre-summer weather invigorates me. Invigorates me so much so that I felt the urge to clean out my fireplace recently. It’s the annual spring rite of passage. Many life lessons are learned in this tradition…

I love my fireplace. I love even more the warmth and beauty of a wood-burning fire roaring and flickering in that fireplace. After a long, cold winter of cozy fires, all that is left are the ashes, ash-covered iron grate, and the sooty, tiled walls inside the fireplace.

Winter is over. These ashes remind me of my own life’s ashes I have endured this winter…ashes I still struggle to write about…surviving a serious six-car accident, hit by a drunk driver. My heart overflows with humble gratitude that God spared my life miraculously. With ongoing physical therapy, court hearings, and insurance woes, it’s time to clean out my heart’s ashes. It’s a different season, time for a different fire.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…He has made everything beautiful in its time.” –Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11 NIV

I prepare myself for the mess. Placing gloves on my hands, I gather a few plastic bags and double them. Carefully I use the metal ash shovel and begin scooping the gray, dusty ashes, dumping them in my bag. Gross.

Next comes the heavy iron grate. It fits awkwardly into a plastic bag, and I walk it clumsily outside to the backyard shed, closed away until next autumn. It had done its job well.

Scoop by scoop all the ashes are removed from the fireplace.  The blackened, sooty tiled walls and floor of the fireplace remain. With my cleaning spray and cloths, little by little the true color of the tiled walls and floor peak through. The fireplace is clean again and ready.

Years ago I bought a mirror and had it cut the dimensions of my fireplace back wall. Retrieving the mirror from the hallway closet, I clean it off, and gingerly place it in the back of the fireplace. It fit perfectly, reflecting the light pouring through the windows across the living room.

My favorite part comes next. Inside the fireplace I insert my old, multi-tiered wrought iron candle holder. I place the fresh, white pillar candles on each pedestal and light each one. Setting the torchiere down, I get off my knees and sit back a few feet. The mini flames reflect in the mirror, dancing. Glorious. Breathtaking. It’s truly a different season, different fire.  

Is that not what we are called to do, to shine God’s Light, to be His reflection?

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that Light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the Light; he came only as a witness to the Light. The true Light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”  –-John 1:4-9 NIV

Are you still sitting in the ashes of the winter’s fires like I had been? Let’s clean out our ashes, friend, and use them for our good and His glory.  It’s a different season; time for a different fire from the same Source.

May your soul be reinvigorated to reflect the Light of our Lord. Shine, my friend, Shine!

“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 NIV

Reflect:

–What winter ashes might you have in your life that need cleaning out? Please comment.

–How do you or will you shine and reflect God’s Light?

Renew:

–“The Lord sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and He exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; He seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.” –1 Samuel 2: 7-8a NIV

–“Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.” –1 Thessalonians 5:19 NIV

–“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” –Galatians 2:20 NIV

Recharge:

–What will you do this week to “let your light shine?”

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