“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12 KJV).
The popular church chorus asks God to descend and set the hearts of His children on fire, to spread a blaze across the nations.
I wonder sometimes if we truly understand for what we ask. Too often we pray for the result but are not willing to endure the process to obtain it.
Fire consumes. I remember driving through an area in the Adirondacks hit by a wildfire. Not a green speck left. All the charred remains stood naked and seemingly beyond hope. But, fire also purifies through the melting process.
Unlike a wild, untamed forest fire, God’s fire has purpose.
Lisa went into the hospital for what she thought would be a simple appendectomy only to discover she had a rare form of invasive abdominal cancer. Her husband said, “After the shock wore off, I was pretty angry. She is so young, healthy and takes good care of herself, why did this happen? What would I do without her? How do I deal with our kids? There was a calmness that came to me while in the middle of this storm. It was clarity and can be attributed to the Holy Spirit as it certainly didn't come from me. I never thought to question God as to why he'd bless me with a beautiful wife, wonderful children and a wonderful and supportive family. How could I be mad at the loss when God had blessed me with so much?”
As a result of Shawn and Lisa’s obedience within this trial, God’s glory is seen through their lives as they post their struggle on a cancer-care website for the world to see. Their posts continue to extol the magnificence of God’s grace, blessings within the firestorm. Shawn writes that God’s grace is shown to them every day through the outpouring of love. Most of all, God’s Holy Spirit is revealed through their children’s strength, their big family their mission field.
I believe that through God’s melting and molding process he reveals Himself to us in ways we would never know if we did not submit to His all-consuming fire.
In Daniel 3, we read the familiar story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the captive Israelites who refused to bow down before the image of the King, even though they knew the punishment would be death by fire. “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
When the king looked into the furnace, he saw a fourth figure, that of a son of God. Through the Glory revealed by the obedience of three Israelite slaves, King Nebuchadnezzar extolled the God of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego.
Are you experiencing firestorms in your family? Are you angry and feel that these difficulties are undeserved? Perhaps God has not sent you punishment, but rather wants to walk with you in the furnace, to show you His Glory. And through this melting and molding process, equip you to be His blessing, the flame that ignites a dry and barren land.
“This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.
They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God’” (Zechariah 13:9 NIV).
A graduate of Houghton College, Rondeau has spent a previous career in the field of human services, often engaged with families in crisis. She credits these experiences in human drama as the edge in creating unforgettable characters. Furthermore, her prior work has shaped her vision of a future world should current sociological issues remain unchecked over the next several decades.
After more than thirty years in the Adirondack region of Northern New York, Rondeau now resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Steve and their cat Duffer. When not writing, she enjoys theater, golf, and hiking.
She is a member of the Florida Writers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and several on-line writing groups. She is the owner and founder of Pentalk, a community of writers that features networking pages and a blog. Rondeau contributes a monthly column to her former community newspaper entitled, This Daily Grind and maintains a blog of the same name. Other blogs include Back in the Daze.
Also writing under the name of Linda Wood Rondeau, other books by this author include The Other Side of Darkness.
You may contact the author on Facebook, Linked In, Goodreads, or Twitter or visit her on the web.
The Amazon Kindle for the novel is : http://www.amazon.com/America-II-The-Reformation-ebook/dp/B008CGFVUI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340191492&sr=1-1&keywords=l.w.+rondeau