Today I have the honor of welcoming Katie Reid to my space. I met Katie via the Five Minute Friday and was instantly pulled in by the depth of her words. Please make sure you visit Katie at her blog, The Tightly Wound Woman, and read more of her inspiring posts.
A bumpy dirt road leads to our home in the country. Stunning sunrises emerge above acres of farm land beyond our backyard (and sometimes I’m up early enough to see them). But where the lawn meets open fields there sits an eye-sore; the propane tank.
Propane fuel is necessary to heat our home but it is quite expensive. A group of friends surprised us this fall by helping us buy a wood-burning stove to supplement our heat.
My husband has spent many days chopping, splitting and stacking wood. He sweats out in the cold so that we are prepared for the long winters found in the Midwest.
He loads up the wood into the stove before bed and I tend to it in the morning (sometimes early when the peach and violet hues rise over the farm land).
The fire inside of the stove needs to be checked frequently.
I blow on the flame and it swells with heat; white, orange and blue flames leap.
I add another log so the fire does not got out.
I check the condition of the fire continually so that the heat is maintained.
If the fire is ignored there is much work to do to start it back up again.
But if the fire is maintained the warmth remains and the work is minimal.
Tending the fire can be a tedious duty or it can be viewed as a delightful privilege; to help warm the house and to keep things in check so that we don’t experience the draft and shiver that comes from a fire gone cold.
As I tend the fire in the mornings, it struck me, that this fire-tending process is similar to our relationship with Jesus.
He placed the fire of His Spirit within us but we are to keep watch over it. We are to stay mindful of the condition that’s within by monitoring our connection to the source of power. We are to do out part, taking daily steps to keep the fire burning.
Once Jesus has deposited His Spirit within us, I don’t think the fire will die out but I do think we can quench the Spirit through neglect.
2 Timothy 1:6 says,
“…I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you…” (NIV).
Some other versions of the Bible say it this way:
kindle afresh the gift of God (NASB)
stir up the gift of God (KJB)
From what I can tell these verses are talking about fanning, stirring, and kindling a gift that has already been given to us by God. The gift is there but it needs some tending, as does our relationship with Him.
My burning love for Jesus has simmered as I neglect the fire that He has placed within. I want to fan into flame the heat of His Presence and stay connected to the Source of life.
My devotion has grown cold as I seek artificial warmth elsewhere—working hard to shine so others will notice, rubbing sticks together to try and start something big—and all this striving leaves me feeling burned out.
I want to be a glowing ember steadily fueled by the heat of His love.
I want to tend the flame regularly so I don’t have to scramble to start something from scratch.
I want to steadily blaze, reaching up and warming those gathered ‘round. I want to point to the Star-Maker, the Fire-Giver, and the One whose Love never runs cold.
It is our privilege to tend the fire. We carry the heavy wood and then lay it down as an offering so the flames of His love can encompass the pieces we bring. We blow on the kindling with the breath that He has blown into us. We cannot maintain this fire apart from our connection to Jesus. He provides and we join Him in the process.
[Tweet “May He be the source that warms our home from within.”]
Let’s start with today. Let’s blow on the ashes and watch Him set us ablaze with His power, His promises and His Presence.
Has your love grown cold? Talk to Jesus about it and ask Him to show you how much He delights in you and longs to fuel you with His Word.