Through Walls of Flames
During one dry season, we watched video news footage coming from fires that had broken out in California. All of us had heavy hearts. We found ourselves asking, What would we do? What would we take of our possessions if forced to flee? I found myself wondering if I could handle loosing everything.
I, like you, and those who lost their homes, have so many special things. I have gifts from friends no longer here, family heirlooms never able to be replaced, and little things only I would recognize as priceless. It would be heartbreaking to loose all these things. I cannot comprehend the loss, but I do know that God understands. He even tells us about surviving a fire in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15:
For no one can lay any other foundation than the one we already have -- Jesus Christ. Now anyone who builds on that foundation may use gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone's work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames. (NLT)
Paul states that as Christians we are building upon a solid foundation, Jesus Christ. But what are we using as our building materials, he asks? Are we more concerned with what we look like, who we please, how we feel, or what we have? What are the types of things we use to build up our self-esteems or as building blocks for our standing in the community we live?
Paul tells us there will be a time of testing when our true motives will be revealed. Now, please don't read into this that God sent the fires in California to test those people. But God can use this tragedy to help us test ourselves. We are to look at our own building blocks to see if we have used inferior materials in building our homes.
This week, as I've been enjoying my decorated-for-Fall home, I found myself asking these questions When I look at my possessions am I more concerned with loosing them than I am about building my life with God? If I were to loose everything and still have my relationship with God, would I count myself as blessed? Would I be happy?
A fire will reveal our true priorities. If what we count as most precious survives a fire (our love for others, our relationships, and our faith) then we will have received our reward. What greater reward then to stand the test of flames and come through them still holding your greatest possessions?
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(c) Cheri Cowell. Used with permission. Cheri Cowell, shares from the heart through her writing and speaking. To reach her visit www.gardensgateministries.com
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