trial by fire.

I remember sitting with a group of my peers in college and discussing the Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Builder in Matthew 7. The person that builds on bedrock, stands firm in the storm. The person that builds on sand, collapses with a mighty crash.

Moral of the story: Be wise. Build on bedrock.

I remember the language they used to describe the “glory” of building on bedrock and I sort of wondered if we were reading the same story.

I understand that there is glory associated with being wise surviving the storm. I get the theology. The analogy is not lost on me. But it seems to me it’d be easier to collapse under the weight of the storm, and let it swirl over you, then it would be to remain standing and let the storm beat against you.

Collapsing seems to be the easier option.

At least it’s been the easier option while the storms have raged in my life.

Tap out. Hide in a heap. Let the storm do it’s thing while I hide.

Is anyone with me?

I walked into a firestorm not too long ago. Unknowingly. It kind of snuck up on me. But the storm had been brewing for a while. I sat there as someone screamed, yelled, pointed, belittled and humiliated me – a literal and figurative firestorm – and I wondered how I might go about collapsing. If there was a trap door. If I could weasel my way out and pretend it never happened.

I remember thinking to myself, “This isn’t going to kill you.”

While at the same time kind of wishing it would.

Or at least that the story would end with me running away and joining the circus and never having to face another human ever again.

I love the story in Daniel 3 of the fiery furnace. The line: our God can save us, BUT EVEN IF HE DOESN’T has always made my heart skip a beat. But it wasn’t until I was working through Beth Moore’s Daniel study that she pointed something out, I had never thought of.

As Shadrack Meshack and Abednego were standing before Nebuchadnezzar and they made their declaration “Our God can save us!” they probably did not think walking into the burning flames was the way they’d be saved. They probably reasoned that God could turn the furnace off, or they would just die and go to glory – but surviving the fire itself was probably not what they thought would happen.

Which IS SO ME.

I believe God can save, deliver, redeem. But I don’t often (Read: PROBABLY NEVER EVER IN MY EXISTENCE) think that His method of deliverance is through the fire. That it might be through the trial I will be redeemed. That it is the firestorm that could ultimately save me.

While fires in my life has roared I’ve wondered if God has abandoned me. Or if He has totally forgotten about me. Or wondering if He is trying to kill me.

In the midst of life’s fires I don’t think I’ve ever rationalized that God is delivering me by way the fire – burning off what I don’t need because not only is He with me there, but He has more life for me on the other side.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. 

When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.

When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Isaiah 43:2

I suppose the obvious thing – that I was choosing to overlook – about the builder and the bedrock, is that there is more for us on the other side of the storm. Caving may be an easy out, but the Lord always has so much more for us than just surviving.

The fire is not to consume you, but refine you. Stand strong.

He has more for you on the other side.




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