What is it about that dancing glow of flickering flames that captures the gaze of onlookers? That crackling heat that consumes all it touches. With the ability to mesmerize children and men, being both powerful and beautiful, from afar it draws us in. Captured by the rapture of things changing form. Trash burns, in an environmentally unfriendly way. Everything burns, but not all is trash. From afar it is majestic and captiviating, but upclose, its heat grows uncomfortably unbearable and all at once I am thick into fire's center. Finding myself at fire's middle, I WANT OUT, but all that surrounds me is heat's hotness and God's grace in the midst of it. I am not alone.
God, having taken the form of fire when He spoke to Moses, uses the fire to speak to me. His word tells me to persevere joyfully when I find myself in the fire. (James 1:2) He tells me that when I have stood upon Him and up under heat's hotness, having clung to Him and having resisted my lying feet, that I will be blessed. (James 1:12) He tells me that when I am approved, my faith in Him unwavering in the midst of the heat, that He will award me the crown of life, promised to me because I love Him - not just when the sun is out and the sky is blue, but more so when my insides are burning because of the searing pain of the heat of a trial, and yet I praise Him, knowing that He uses the heat to bring me to more completeness in Him. God has a purpose for the fire, and this is what makes it beautiful.
He tells me that He will not allow the heat to be hotter than what I can bear (1Cor 10:13). Like the silversmith melting His precious metal to draw out the impurities, He watches over me while the yuk is drawn out of me through the heat of the fire. The more trash that is sluffed off, the more clearly His reflection shines. My needy flesh makes me want to run, causing more oxygen to fan the flames, making the heat even hotter, but my flesh is a liar. Liar liar pants on fire. His spirit in me is the truth, and the truth cloaks me like a drenched towel's wetness, and I am neither seared nor soiled when I am wrapped in truth. I put my flesh in it's place, because He gives me the strength to do so. I emerge from the trial having changed form, from someone caged by the flames to a woman freed by God's truth in the midst of the heat, one firey trial closer to the image of my CREATOR. The beauty of the fire IS breathtaking.