This week’s prompt from LisaJo Baker for Five Minute Friday is LAST. So, we write for five minutes – no stopping, no editing – and pour our hearts out. Here is my best five minutes on LAST.
Do you ever feel like when it comes to God’s priorities, you’re last on the list?
Your fears, dreams, hopes, deepest hurts and needs laid bare before Him and His eyes, mind and heart are elsewhere?
You stand in the middle of a fire, painful singe marks blister your heart yet your cries – like those in the worst of nightmares – make no sound. You try to run to the safety of the shelter of His wings, yet your feet stand fast to the floor, wrapped in the flames of pain, hurt, regret, confusion.
I’ve been there, friend. More times than I can count. Each time I stand in the fire I hope – I pray – its the last time. Of course, it never is. There’s always a next time.
But if I’ve learned one thing of these times of walking through fire, it’s this:
What remains when the extra is consumed in the fires of uncertainty; when the chaff blows away in the winds of terrifying change; when everything you’ve ever known is ripped from beneath you in the spiritual natural disaster…what remains is what lasts.
When I feel those flames licking my feet, whipping my soul, I wrap tight my spiritual hands around the beautified, purified, shining treasure left from the last time. I relish the refreshing coolness of that most-pure-gold against the skin of my soul and I remember.
I remember how when I felt most alone, that was when He was most present.
When I felt most lost, most abandoned, most confused, most worn down and beat up, that is when He was most tender, most wise, most patient, allowing the flames to take only what was necessary to produce the masterpiece of purified, sparkling, bejeweled glory that can only come from the pain of purification.
It doesn’t make the next fire any less painful, or the doubt any less real. Sometimes we are in the fire because of a choice we made. Sometimes we are there because we are caught up in the choices of those around us. And sometimes…sometimes the only reason we are there is because there is a beauty on the other side – a view of His face – impossible to see without journeying through the firey valley of the shadow of death.
Because it’s dark, you know, there in the midst of the flames.
But the beauty that comes when the flames die down, and the pain subsides and darkness fades and once again your vision is clear and your heart strong is a beauty that will last.
So when you feel like last on the list of God’s heart, look around and look ahead to the lasting beauty that awaits you at the end of the darkness.