Here’s a musical confession: When I was in High School I listened to a song called “Through the Fire” by the Crabb Family obsessively. I mean repeat, repeat, repeat, and again. I don’t like to talk about it, but there it is. There may have been some adlibs belted into a hair brush, but that’s not exactly what I would call “relevant information” so we’ll move on. The point is:
I listened to it a trillion times. But I didn’t get it. Sure, I understood the basic concept: “There will be trials. Crosses must be carried. The Lord gets us through those trials. He takes us the through the fire.” Shout and dance. The end.
That’s not wrong. That’s just not the whole story. I thought these poignant lyrics would point directly at various times in my life: here’s your Dad’s tumor block, here’s the heartbreak block, here’s the time of transition block, and then things like that would be the minimal blocks on life’s calendar to which these lyrics apply. It wasn’t like that.
They applied all the time. He took me through the fire repeat, repeat, repeat, and again.
i didn’t understand that we don’t put down our crosses. I didn’t understand that each decision gives birth to a new one. I spent a lot of time attempting to figure out what He was calling me to, before I realized He is calling us all to the same thing: Sacrifice.
These are things we talk about every Sunday that I just didn’t get. Real talk in real time? I just didn’t grasp that doing what He wants might require sacrifice. It might mean less money earned. It might mean more time given. It might mean letting my dreams die so His could live. It might mean that when I look over pros and cons and make decisions and accept positions or take jobs or agree to commitments what looks the best to Him doesn’t match what looks best on paper. Not just one time, or for one season, but maybe not ever.
It just also means a glory no words could describe.
It. Means. A. Glory. No. Words. Could. Describe.
There are some things that can only be forged through fire. Those are the things that last. Those are the things that matter. And the Lord in the fire with you is better than a life of comfort on the mountaintop. Always. Every day. In innumerable ways.
Blessed. Be. The. Lord. Who. Daily. Loadeth. Us. With. Benefits. (Psalm 68:19)
I know there is someone who needs to read this because I am currently crying harder than when I used to sing the lyrics “He never promised that the cross would not get heavy” into my hairbrush.
I know you have to think about providing for your family, but He is ever providing for you.
I know you don’t have a three page contingency plan, but He knows the plans He has for you.
I know job security is important, but He is the firmest foundation.
So do the thing.
You know what that is.
Take the job.
Make the move.
Refuse the offer.
Whatever it is for you.
The best benefits are etched out in invisible ink, heaped without measure and given daily.
Let Him bring you through fire, from glory to glory, repeat, repeat, repeat, and again.