It was hot. Really hot. Things were burning to her left and to her right. Everything was going up in flames, consuming anything that dared to be in the way. Fadeke held tight to what was in her hand, and then she closed her eyes. She was under a wet blanket, silently praying that she would not be devoured. She heard a loud bang. Something was falling right next to her, in bits and pieces...it sounded like the silver ceiling fan. "Oh, Lord. Please send help." The computer crashed, her CDs, the big screen TV, the couches in the living room, the dining table furniture...they were all going up in flames. She held tight to the precious thing in her hand. She will protect it. At least until someone rescued her. It was either that, or she would die protecting it. It was the scroll that contained the poem her mother wrote for her, before she passed away last year...the flames were not going to get this one.
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Many times, I have had the crazy feeling of flames consuming me, and everything I have. I have felt like Solomon felt when he said, "Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity." There have been some things I have worked for, only to see them falling down to pieces. Or only to find myself going back to square one again, starting right back from the very beginning. Just like an endless cycle. It is like the work of a ferocious fire, consuming everything that dares to come into its path. But there is hope...
The fire in this context represents something that consumes your possessions (as in your spirituality, character, strength, hard earned work, academics, career life, family, friends, relationships, and so on). The fire may come to you, but it will not devour your soul and your spirit. Like Fadeke held tight to her precious poem, God is holding tight to you. But why should there even be fire? It is because without fire you cannot be established as fine gold. Gold first has to be purified by passing it through the fire. The fire causes a washing out of senseless impurities that should not have been there in the first place. Guess what I'm trying to say? There will be an end to the fire. There will be the end of the purification process. Though it seems as though the fire prevails, it does not understand the power of the extinguisher. Your training process does not take the whole of your life. The fire only burns for a while.
So let the fire take its course. Let it be ferocious for all it wants. Those things that need to be preserved, I tell you, they WILL be preserved. YOU will be preserved. You just focus on God, and learn what you need to learn from the flames burning around you.
PHOTO by photobucket.