Sunday, January 9, 2011


One can enjoy a wood fire worthily only when he warms his thoughts by it as well as his hands and feet.  ~Odell Shepherd

Few things are more comforting to me than the sight of flames licking and spilling over the wood in my fireplace.  Few sounds are as pleasant as the snap, crackle and occasional POP of the wood succumbing to the demands of the flame.  Few evenings are as fun as those involving good friends, good conversation, and a warm fire. 

This afternoon, along with the sounds of football and the comfort of my warm, fuzzy socks, I am delighting in the little pile of bundled firewood sitting beside my fireplace.  The weatherman says I have reason to think I will be using it in the next few days.  Snowfall and firelight -- are there any more delicious words to combine than those? 

Have you ever looked up the word "fire" in the Bible?  Incredible.  364 times, the word "fire" is used in the NIV.  The tongue is a fire (James 3); God's voice is not found in an earthquake or fire, but in the quiet whisper AFTER the fire (I Kings 19); fire purifies and cleanses (Numbers 31); God's faithful are carried away in fire (2 Kings 2);  God's messengers speak out of bushes-on-fire (Exodus 3); God's word is a fire (Jeremiah 20); our work will be tested with fire (1 Corinthians 3); the Lord comes with fire (Isaiah 66); God leads his people as a pillar of fire (Exodus 13)...

Amazing.  Dangerous.  Powerful.  Cleansing.  Purifying.  Warms but also burns. Guides but also destroys.  Gives light but also uncovers darkness.  Miraculous but also terrifying.  Positive AND Negative.  Both/And -- how can one, simple thing be so complicated? So astoundingly complex?

Every day with the Lord is an adventure; an invitation to view old things in a new way.  Today, my King invited me to see his glory in the incredibly complex, yet powerfully simple image of fire.     

He makes winds his messengers; flames of fire his servants.  Psalm 104:4

1 comment:

  1. Does the fire still count if its not a real log burning flame? I kinda like my flip-of-a-switch gas log fireplace. :) Wish we could enjoy our fires together!