Thursday, May 26, 2011

embrace the fireball

you know those seasons in life where it feels like you're under immense pressure? where every day a new challenge seems to surface that has you clinging to your next breath? when it seems like God is trying to deal with every issue of your heart all at once?

in my community of believers we like to refer to that as the "fireball."

and we talk often about embracing the fireball... clinging to it and allowing God to do the difficult work in our hearts. but it's hot. oh so very hot. and it's uncomfortable. and can i please just drop this thing now and move on?

that's often our typical response... at least it's mine. i wanna rebel against this fireball that feels like it's burning up every part of me. although, i suppose that's the point. less of me. more of HIM.

but it's still hard. and it hurts. and did i mention it's hard? this whole refining process... dealing with the skeletons in the closet... examining the inner workings of your heart... reconciling relationships instead of cutting off... this isn't easy stuff.

i was reading james this morning and decided to read from the message translation. here's verses 2-4 from chapter 1.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
yup, i can identify with that. but consider it a gift? what??? you mean i should embrace this fireball as a gift? as in receive it with open arms? such a far stretch from my natural human inclination. it's that age old question really... fight or flight? am i going to fight my way through this, knowing that i'll be drawn closer to my savior, or run away and delay the process even more? because if i don't deal with these things now, i'll just have to deal with them later.

a few verses down james says this (verse 12):
Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.
oh be still my heart! loyally in love with God? yes! that is what i want to be! because you better believe i want life and more life. and if that is my reward for being loyally in love with God then yes!

so i will do my best to choose to embrace the fireball. to trust the process that will ultimately lead me into the most fulfilling, inspiring, exciting life with my Creator, my Father, my Savior, my Friend.

grace and peace to you today...



Jess said...

Refiner's fire.

Always. Can't be purified, refined, honed, sharpened, or perfected without the heat of immense fire.

I've been there so, so, so many times. Sometimes I melt under the heat. But mostly, I've come through stronger and more myself. I think you will too. :)

cara said...

Oh man Susan, it sure is hard at times though isn't it? But I think for me, the most profound part of this post is where you talk about the options we really with it now, or drop the fireball and deal with it later. Because yeah, God has a funny way of recycling things in our life if they are not dealt with the way HE wants us to deal with them. Okay rambling now but just wanted to say thanks for this lovely post. It is a wonderful reminder that when the going gets tough and the fire ball feels too hot you got to keep on pressing on and keep your eye on the prize...HIM. So much easier said than done but so worth it.