I got up this morning to start up the furnace. I laid 3 hedge logs in the firebox, tore out a stack of about 20 pages of an old phone book, lightly rolled them and lit the end. Then shoving them in among the logs, I watched them blaze up and waited expectantly for the logs to light. I did this same procedure yesterday and it took about 5 minutes to have a blazing fire going.
I waited…and waited…the paper would blaze up, but the logs just would not catch. So I poured a little off road diesel on a log and tried again. The diesel caught nicely but the log just wouldn’t. The log wasn’t wet, it was hedge which burns nice and hot. hmmm…what to do.
I found a small piece of very dry wood, soaked it in the diesel, lit it, set it in the box and waited some more. By now I had spent about 40 minutes messing with this and I’m getting very frustrated. I was thinking “Lord, if you can light Elijah’s fire with water soaked wood, would ya do me a favor and light this diesel soaked wood.” A tiny little bit of ember started to show up on the underside of one of my logs. “Thanks Lord. What should I do now? Add some more paper? Sure I can do that Lord, no problem.” Paper lights up…still no flames. “Lord, I am just like this fire. Without you I wouldn’t exist. You are my very breath.” I start singing a praise song and thanking God for everything I have. I’m still trying to get this fire to really burn, baby burn. Finally I thought “let’s try putting a split piece on here.” The other 3 logs are full round, covered in bark, which I thought would catch easily. So I added a split piece.
After adding more paper that split piece caught spectacularly. “Thank you Lord.” As I sat studying the fire and poking around to get it really going I thought “you know, this is how we are with God” We try to come to Him in one piece, proud of our accomplishments and ask Him to use us to do great things. But God resists the proud. It’s only when we come to him broken, with our inmost parts exposed that He can truly use us to accomplish the things He has planned for us. We must admit that He made us…any ability, skill, knowledge we have, He gave us. We have nothing to offer Him. We can only say, “Here I am, take what you have made and let it be used according to your will. I am yours to do with whatever you please.”
I came upstairs a little unsteady from low blood sugar, as I had spent over an hour working on the fire. So I fixed some Mini-Wheats, turned on the blower on the furnace and ate my breakfast. After I felt a little better I put my hand up to the vent to feel the fruit of my labors…COLD AIR! What?! “Lord I don’t get this. What am I supposed to learn here?” There are 6 logs blazing in the furnace, why is the air still cold?
Here’s what I get from this. We can get all fired up and run off to “Do God’s will” but if we don’t wait for His timing, His direction, His strength, we just burn ourselves out without ever really accomplishing our true purpose. We can run all day “doing things for God”, but if they aren’t what He wanted us to do at that time, then it was all for nothing. Wasted effort. I need to seek Him first. He alone is my strength, my very breath. I need to spend time with Him first thing in the morning to get my daily bread and my marching orders for the day. Not try to get up and fly by the seat of my pants, putting out fires (or attempting to start them 🙂 without His strength and direction. Because when I’m running all over the place without them, I just burn myself up and nothing of eternal significance ever gets accomplished.
Oh Lord, help me seek You first. First in importance and first in the order of my day. You are life to me. Joy and purpose come from you. You want me to have life and joy abundantly. I am nothing but dust without You. Thank you for all that you have given me. I give it all right back. I love You Lord. Thank you for loving little ole me.