January 10, 2010

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“. . .When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
Isaiah 43:2b (NRSV)

I expected to be drawn to colors as the glass-blowing artist breathed into a pipe and formed a pear-shaped vase. Instead, I couldn’t take my eyes off the fire, which in glass-blowing lingo is called the “glory hole.” The blue-white flame whirred and hissed. It glowed in a furnace the size of a microwave on stilts, and the temperature inside soared above 2000 degrees. The fire required protective gear for the eyes, arms, hands, and feet. Its heat spilled into the room and filled it.

Exposed to this white-hot fire, glass rods became red and pliable. Only then, could they be shaped into something beautiful and transparent.

Isaiah’s fire has that kind of power.

Sometimes we separate from people we love, and alienation burns a hole. Other times, we live with smoldering reminders of physical or emotional pain. We might need to confess a daily glass of wine has blazed into a craving for eight. We fear flames of rejection after completing dozens of job applications.

In fiery times of disorientation, God offers hope as we are being shaped, “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.”

Prayer:
God of all glory, you uphold us when trials flare and smolder. Empower and shape us, so we learn the freedom of being fully alive in you.  Amen

Question:
How is my fear of getting burned sabotaging my growth?

Written by Deborah Jansen

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