Lord God, All-consuming fire. I come to warm myself by Thee this day.
Yet the irony of wanting ‘just a little warmth’ is not lost on me, not when You set me alight, not when You burn my life around me. There is no part I can turn to which has not been scorched by Your heat, which does not show signs of Your presence.
Yet I come, asking for just a small portion of You.
It is only through Your holding back that I am not already consumed and lost entirely. It is only Your grace which maintains me as whole, as self-determined.
Oh, how I yearn to burn, but fear holds me back, fear has me asking for ‘just a little’, fear consumes me first. Tweet
Oh, that You would burn out this fear, but I am afraid there would be nothing left, that what small scraps remain would not hold together.
Yet You give me form, You give my form life itself. Surely I can trust You to hold me together, to maintain me in Your consuming purifying fire.
Shouldn’t it be my desire to only be made up of what You made me of, what You desire me to be?
So why do I cling to my battered fig leaves, desperate to maintain my comfort and control? Why am I more comfortable in my own delusions, my own fantasies, than sitting with the hearth-fire of God?
I should be more at peace beside the fire of God – all-consuming and comforting warmth – than hiding in a distant room under the covers.
But it is not enough to just sit beside God, to include God in life, but not engage with God.
No, God invites us closer, God invites us in.
God invites us into the throneroom of the One who commands the universe; the throneroom which is filled with the train of God’s robe, filled with God’s glory, where seraphim cry “holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;” the throneroom where Isaiah cried out, “woe is me, I am not worthy to be here in God’s presence;” the throneroom where John fell down as though dead.
Our All-consuming Fire of a God invites us to stand there, to draw close, that we might know God intimately; that we might feel God’s fire against our skin like the very clothes we wear, brushing against the whole of us, pressing up against all that we are, burning away all that we are not.
And when we step in, we find ourselves quenched, submerged, washed, and refreshed. We find ourselves not consumed, not burnt to ashes, but restored in Living Waters, connected to our source, our headwaters, once again.
And it is good.
The Water soaks in, pressing through any barriers we might try to wear, slicking up against our most true and vulnerable selves.
And we find that we can stop our grasping, stop our legs and arms churning and flailing, and just float. Buoyed up, safe, in the arms of God.