Everyone goes through a crucible; a test; a furnace; a fire. Several times in your life in different forms: Financial trouble, loneliness, losing someone dear, disappointment, sickness – we all go through a fire. Three types of people emerge from the fire;
Those who die
They are consumed by the flames, choked by the smoke and their hearts melt in the heat. The bad experience defines the rest of their lives. They get stuck in the ashes, memories of how it used to be and what could have been. Alive but not living.
Those who learn to love the fire
The fire is not allowed to burn out. They adjust their lives and live as if the fire still rages on; as if the building is still filled with smoke and the metal door still too hot to touch.
They meet new people but still treat them like they were part of those who cheated them.
They refuse to leave it in the past and get back to who they are – the fire changes them. They do not give a chance for the fire to go out and go cold – they keep it alive. They have plans just in case the fire comes back again. Life is built around their issues.
Those who come out stronger
The scars are accepted as a new part of who they are and not hidden. The clothes worn on that day refuse to lose the smell of smoke are thrown away. A makeover happens. Conversations about the incident don’t come up all the time now. Laughter gets deeper and louder – things do not go back to normal; a new normal is created. Some friends are lost, some are rock solid and some new friends are made. Things have changed but the past is in the past, working what is here now to create the future.
I bet you can see yourself in all three categories – dead, stuck or coming out stronger. Life happens!
Fake it till you make it won’t work here; be aware of how you have been affected by fires you have been through. It’s not ‘get over it’ but ‘be aware of it’. Know when your pain is driving you to choose friends, to decline business offers, quit the job, change church or wear those uncomfortable heels….
Take it to God often and ask Him for healing, comfort and to come out stronger. A pastor, counsellor or friend can help to give perspective, support and strategy. Keep the commitment to be defined by Christ not by the fires you’ve been through.
God knew life would happen and we would be dead or stuck but want to come out stronger so
He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5