The battle rages with fury around us – like the burning embers of a camp fire, it scorches and pops our bodies with that stinging heat. We flinch and look over at the ball of flames. It is menacing and this fiery furnace drains us of our energy – sometimes to the point of giving up.
We think how easy it would be to let go of fighting that scorching heat. To live in the flames and just let it consume us – because then we would not feel that smoke laden fire lapping against our souls.
But, what do we gain from giving up? Despair. Weakness. Terror – a spirit that allows darkness to grab hold of our beings and conquer.
We are draped in battle armor – lest we forget. It does not mean that there will not be marks in our heavenly covering. No – just the opposite – our suits should be covered in bullet marks. And, we should be a display of a soldier that has been through the fire and not been burned. A fighter that has sustained numerous rounds of attacks from the enemy – and is still fully intact!
I think of King David fleeing for his life and hiding in the hills from Saul. There were armies looking for him. They wanted to kill him and came very close to accomplishing that mission.
Can you imagine the thoughts running through his mind –I should give up, maybe run away from this place and never return or just surrender. But no –he pressed on because he knew that his God was greater than the hate he was coming up against.
He cried out to his Maker and Supreme King in Psalm 54: 4-7:
“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them. I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good. You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.”
David, though facing defeat and abhorrence, knew God had a plan – even in the midst of trouble. His Maker had called him out from his youth and spoken over him great things. He could have surrendered, but he didn’t – and he was made King of Israel.
The fire burns. It hurts and is scares. But, fighting it with endurance proves to be beautiful.
God does not want perfect warriors. He wants ironclad men and women – tested and refined by the fire of external debris. This is how the most precious metals are made – it’s a process.
May we never give up hope in the midst of hardship! Let’s look up to heaven when walking through the fire – and praise God for trusting us enough to wade knee-deep in suffering because there is always beauty after the storm.
“See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” Isaiah 12:2