Set fire to the rain

Someone at the weekend, recommended that I needed a ‘hard hat’ as I started this new venture in ministry .. good advice, although I prefer to think of it as ducking behind God when the flack starts flying.  Yesterday was a tough one. Nothing earth shattering, – just bone- weary tiredness from too many long days in a row, distorting my perspectives. Having my knuckles rapped by someone I respect, for in effect, colouring outside the lines  ( a particular failing of mine, I admit)  The pressures of an essay due, and no time to write it in, at least not to the standard my ‘recovering perfectionist’ nature  requires. The world can feel very small on days like those, or perhaps it is just me?  My horizons close down and I can only see my feet, or the step or two immediately ahead.

The season of Lent starts tomorrow – six weeks running up to Easter.  A sermon I heard this morning, by our Principal got me thinking. He was talking about how people traditionally give something up for Lent- meat, alcohol or even turnips – which one enterprising parishioner of his,  chose to miss out on for 40 days. Can’t say I’d miss turnips, myself  (and I am not sure he would either).  He also spoke of the more recent development of taking up something – a new discipline of prayer, charitable giving etc.  His point was that perhaps neither of those is most suitable, and suggested a powerful alternative.

Handing over.

Handing over to God those parts of ourselves that we haven’t thus far surrendered. Relationships, hopes, ambitions or whatever we keep discreetly out of the way of God’s searchlight.  It brought to mind a life verse that became very meaningful for me about 5/6 years ago and ever since. It comes from Psalm 5.

” Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar, and wait for the fire to descend.”   The Message.

Pieces, because that is all I ever have. I never know whether the fire will fall and burn to ashes the precious things I lay there, or whether they will be set alight in a purification process for His glory. I can only offer, trust and wait.

Sometimes however, the pieces are doused in cold water. Perhaps by the world and circumstances, or perhaps by me. Like the altar laid by Elijah on the top of Mount Carmel in a ‘whose God is real’ contest, my offerings are on occasions, damp and soggy. Not very ignitable, to say the least.  But Elijah knew a secret he wasn’t letting on to the prophets of Baal.

His God could set fire to the rain.

Three times he had huge jars of water poured over that altar until it was sodden right through.  “Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench” 1 Kings 18:38

His God could set fire to the rain.

So as I approach this season of Lent, I will be asking Him what He wants me to lay on the altar, things I may have been holding back. And it doesn’t matter if they come a bit sodden with cold water, because my God can set fire to the rain, and I will be asking Him to do just that.

2 thoughts on “Set fire to the rain

  1. Honey, pieces is fine. If we were all smooth then there’d be nothing to break the light and shine it a million different ways in a million different hues. Gutted to miss Martin this morning, but it’s a hard choice between mass and breakfast when Ridley at 9 calls… I like the handing over concept. I tend to think of it as discipline, whether that be giving up or taking on – the one generally involves a bit of the other anyway if done right. But handing over has so many more possibilities. And requires so much more trust, which, giving up trust in yourself and taking on deeper trust in God. Here is not a place to hold back, because there is time and space and people and spirit and prayer to hold the pieces together when they shake loose x

    Like

  2. Pingback: holy scriptures, Jesus Christ, Christianity | your resource for images of Jesus

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