For When Your Heart Is On Fire
Anyone who lives in a mountain town will tell you that while our home makes God's natural handiwork real in the form of crisp morning air, the sweet smell of pine trees, and the sight of majestic mountaintops peering above the tree line, it also comes with the threat of wildfire. Several months ago, as the mountain that rests within one mile of the mountain town I call home was set ablaze by the careless actions of one individual, I was jolted into reflection of what it truly means to hope in the promises of Christ - that He would keep my home, and my people, safe.
Thankfully, God heard the prayers that we sent up to Him in our time of need, and in the aftermath of that blaze, many were inspired to reflect on what just what it means to react to the presence of flames - of shadow, darkness, and worry in our lives, and what it means to overcome their presence, despite the trail of destruction they may leave.
Our hearts are not unlike a mountain. When we choose to sin, we invite the flames of the enemy to be fanned, burning through us and restricting our access to the Truth of Christ's Word. When we turn our faces to His light, however, we stop the spread of spiritual destruction, welcoming in a sense of renewed, refreshed purpose - our connection to Him.
In our original spiritual state, we are one with the Creator, blessed by His hand, and given the grace of heart and purity of soul to live in full communion with Him: "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). We enter this world with an innate sense of knowledge of His presence and our goodness.
But over time, we often find ourselves becoming the victim of our society, oppressed by cultural standards to which we may desire to conform, to the media we consume that perpetuates messages of inadequacy or immoral living, and to the opinions of others who long ago fell away from their purpose of serving God and encouraging us to do the same. We become engulfed in a tenebrous spiritual blanket that is not the making of our God, but rather by the work of the enemy who stalks in silence, waiting for our moments of weakness.
Friends, it is so easy for our hearts to catch fire with temptations, sins, and shadows, wondering where God is in our darkness. If you currently find yourself in a season of flame, do not fear! He has not forgotten you, and you have not been taken out of His sight. He is near, waiting with open arms for you to develop a desire to overcome your sins and once again find your connection with Him. You may have been set ablaze, and those flames will undoubtedly leave a scar upon your heart, but in that space, He will help you to grow.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
When the world believes it has charred our faith and subdued our connection to God, we must find the passion of spirit to believe in the truth of His promises, rising above the ashes that cover our hearts, as we cling to the hope of His Word. God's love for us is far stronger than any sin, whether physical or spiritual, and is available to us no matter how many times we falter.
When we turn our hearts, laden with sin though they may be, to God, and allow Him to give us new life, we are given a renewed strength of spirit, like that with which we were born, when God held each of us in the palm of His hand and decided we were good creations. We become like the green sprouts of growth that appear in the scars of the wildfire, once hidden from sight under our sin, and now triumphantly breaking through, desiring nothing more than to reach up to our loving God's embrace.
This process of rebirth and overcoming is often a slow one; the wildflowers that grow on a charred mountainside do not appear overnight, but little by little, they thrive. Our hearts, when nourished by the Truth of Christ, grow slowly, but when we allow ourselves time and patience in His presence, we flourish. His promises fill us with resiliency to push through our seasons of darkness and reach the light of His love, filling ourselves with the expectancy of faith that is our birthright.
When we reach the point of joy after overcoming our sins, we are blessed with a rebirthed faith - love that can never be taken away from us. This is the moment of our wild victory - a celebration of God's goodness.
How will you open your heart to the Truth of Christ today?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Rebecca Flasz is an avid traveler, lifestyle writer, and elementary school teacher turned college professor. She holds degrees in Education at the Bachelor of Science, Master of Education, and Doctorate of Education levels and has a heart for teaching others. In addition, she is a passionate free spirit who enjoys a good cup of tea, spending time outdoors with family, and listening to the sounds of wind chimes and singing birds. She believes in writing pieces that are reflective of the loving kindness of Christ, meant to help others feel worthy and loved. You can read more of Rebecca's writing on her blog Sagebrush and Salt.