Since coming home, I’ve been trying to be very intentional about finding time to pray every day. I can’t recall doing this in any kind of an organized fashion since I was a small child. Without going into all the details, I had a life altering experinece while I was on vacation, although I’m not sure I totally recognized it at the time.
We heat our house with a wood stove. If you’ve ever tried to light a fire, you know how frustrating it can be when the little flame on the newspaper simply refuses to light the big log. You can sit there and fight it, add a little fire starting fuel, blow gently, blow harder (get dizzy and nearly pass out), add more paper and then finally walk away and hope that the fire box will finally get hot enough to provide the right environment for the fire to light. That was me, shivering in the cold this morning, wondering once again, do I really love the fire enough to bother?
So, after a few minutes of fighting the wood stove, I gave in and settled in for some quiet prayer. Better to shiver in the dark & keep my head screwed on straight than continue the battle and miss out on an opportunity to nourish my soul.
As the wood stove heats up, it begins to tick and creak just a little. In the silence, I was able to hear the tiny flame slowly warm and then finally ignite the logs. When I finished my prayers, I was astonished to see not just a little flame but the entire firebox full of raging fire.
I am extremely visual. God must know this. Heck, even people I’ve met for 20 minutes can pick it up. For me, this was a visual reminder of God. I started out November in darkness with only the dimmest of flame. By giving some attention, a little paper and a small amount of faith, I found myself being warmed. But it was only since returning home and allowing God time, that I have found my soul ignited.
I could have simply stayed warm. That might have been enough. But then I would have missed out what God really had in mind.