Fire: it has both good and bad connotations, doesn’t it?
- Camp fires: good. Forest fires: bad.
- Fired up: good. Burnt out: bad.
- Heat: good. Too hot: bad.
- Sunshine: good. Sunburn: bad.
- Cooked: good. Charred: bad.
- Flames of light: good. Flames on a house: bad.
See what I mean? I have created several art pieces over the years that had the theme of fire. In each of the verses or quotes the words point to withstanding and overcoming fire. Because just like above, fire always starts out as a good thing, but too much can be, well, too much! Devastating. Tragic.
This verse comes from when God was trying to get Moses’ attention when He first called him. This was a good fire. It was meant to encourage Moses to believe and follow. Can you think of a fire that set you ablaze with passion? For me, it is always a craft fair. I thrive on words of encouragement, so having people look at my work and comment encourages me to keep painting.
This comes from the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Ebednigo (don’t you love saying those names?) when they go into the pottery oven/kiln to be killed and God saves them. They open the doors in the morning, and there they stand– praising God. How about this one? Ever felt like you were going into a horrible situation and God ended up making it much easier? You thought it would be a huge fire, and it turned into a spark. Sometimes I think I am going to be in big troubies with my hubs, only to have him be understanding when I am honest and forthright. (Especially if I went shopping too much!)
I know a lot of firemen cling to this verse. But really it works for so many different professions and volunteering. Our jobs, whether paid or not, can get overwhelming. We feel tired and burnt out, feel that we will never recuperate and get back that spark of passion. But God promises, no matter how we might be marked with burns, we will not be set ablaze. We will find rest in Him and He can rekindle our energy.
EACH verse reminds us: when we call on God, when He is in control, WE WILL NOT BE BURNED. He will hold us, love us, and keep us safe. He will make sure that we make it through that fire untouched: the bush did NOT burn, the three men did NOT burn, those in the flames will NOT burn. When we walk with Christ, we can burn with fire and passion, be surrounded by flames of Holy Spirit, enjoy all the good connotations listed above, and He will save us from the worst fire possible: being separated from our Savior.