I feel as if the hurt is consuming me. These were the words I spoke recently to a friend about a painful situation in my life. As I said them out loud the weight of it overwhelmed me. I laid in bed that night once again going over the circumstance. Trying to make sense out of the senselessness that results from living in a broken world with broken people. And once again I was consumed by it all. In the darkness of the room and my own thoughts came a small voice... you are not consumed... you are not consumed... you are not consumed... you are not consumed. It started as a whisper in my head and ended as a triumphal shout. I knew it was from one of my favorite scriptures so I had to turn on the light and read it right then.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)
We are not consumed. Why? Because of His great love for us. We can have hope because He loves us and sees everything that is happening to us. He has compassion on us and is faithful to us. He gives us a fresh start every morning.
I turned out the light and laid back down in the darkness to let these truths consume me. And my mind wandered...
Three men thrown into a fiery furnace. Three men who chose to obey God over man, knowing that they would face the flames, but they trusted in His great love for them. Three men became four as they walked through the flames untouched. God's very presence was with them that day. They were not consumed. (Daniel 3)
A bush burning in the desert. Flames bursting from it yet the leaves not burned up. Moses has to go closer to see how this could be happening and the voice of God comes out of the fire. God's presence is there. God is getting our attention. He is there. And the bush is not consumed. (Exodus 3 )
What can we learn from a fiery furnace and a burning bush? We can learn that God's presence in our lives will protect us from the fires in our lives. We don't have to be consumed by worry, anger, hurt, anxiety, or any circumstance. We can allow His great love to consume us and His grace to saturate us so that when the flames come we are left untouched.
So, what is consuming you today? Instead of looking at the flames around you, listen to the Fire within you.