I pushed the button. I turned the knob. I got a flame.
For about three and half seconds.
Try as I might, I could not get the pilot light of my gas fireplace to stay lit. And if that wasn’t happening, there was no way that a roaring fire to warm my cold morning bones was in my future.
So I pushed the button again. I turned the knob. Again.
And this time I didn’t even get a flicker.
What was wrong with this thing any way?
Yesterday, my hero handyman, Rick, came and helped me with little projects that needed attending before the house hits the market on Friday.
First on my own personal list?
Maybe he could figure out the issue with this malfunctioning thing.
Turns out, shock of all shocks, it was operator error.
I was the malfunctioning thing.
Rick knew what to do and he did it.
He pushed the button. He turned the knob. And he got a flame that didn’t go out.
He had accomplished the task of lighting the pilot correctly so that it would never go out.
You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? 🙂
There were a number of things that Rick did that I didn’t do to light a successful fire.
1. Rick took off the glass front and got inside the unit.
Now, I had cleaned the glass multiple times. Windex to the surface.
And therein lies the problem. It wasn’t the surface that needed cleaning. It was inside. Rick found bits of insulation that had somehow made their way around the pilot, suffocating it’s ability to obtain the oxygen needed to burn.
2. Rick patiently looked in all the nooks and crannies, checked out all the wiring and established that the fireplace was in working order.
I, on the other hand, not having a clue which wires meant what, just went immediately to impatient button pushing in my desire for a quick fix.
3. When Rick determined that everything was cleaned out and looked ready, he did the same things I had done – pushed a button, turned a knob.
But he pushed the right thing for the appropriate amount of time and got the result I had only hoped for.
Oops. I didn’t do that.
I had muddled my way through my dilemma, guessing at what to do and how to do it. (Probably not a great idea when you’re dealing anything gas related, right?)
Doing things my way didn’t produce a sustainable flame.
And here it is….
– What about the flame of my life?
– That spiritual burn that should be an indication of the life inside me?
– What am I doing to light a pilot that won’t go out?
I need to go back to Rick’s technique and apply it to my heart.
I need to let God be the “Rick” in this repair project and get my impatient hands out of the way.
1. I need to let God clean out the “insulation” that has been blocking my “oxygen” flow.
You know. That stuff that sucks the life out of me or distracts me or dirties me up inside.
My “pilot light” needs to breathe.
I need to be willing to let God get inside, past the “glass” exterior, and address the junk with His loving, patient, expert hands.
2. I need to let God “check my wires” and make sure I’m in operating condition.
If there are areas of my life that need healing or growing, I have got to trust that He has the tools in his box to fix those broken parts.
He offers permanent fixes that put my duct tape attempts to shame.
3. I need to trust God’s timing.
If I am not feeling the passionate flame of spiritual fervor, if circumstances are not fanning my flame, so to speak,
I need to rest in the fact that God’s finger is pushing my “button”, His finger right there in place promising the most brilliant fire.
Lord knows I have tried, over the course of my life, to try and fix this “fireplace” myself when it’s not working correctly.
You’d think I would learn after all these years to fix it myself.
But I was never meant to fix it myself.
My flame of passion FOR Him only comes FROM Him.
And when I let Him do His very good work in me, He creates something that is beautiful and inviting. I become a place where others can come and warm their hands and hearts by His flame.
Are you tired of trying to push your own buttons, turn your own knobs and fan your own flames?
Let Jesus do His thing. He’s really, really good.
(P.S. If you need an incredible handyman, I’ll be happy to share Rick’s number!)
Philippians 1:6 – And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Luke 24:32 – They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
Matthew 5:14-16 – You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.