Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
– John 8:12
Have you ever stared at a bonfire and watched the flames dance around as if they were alive? Have you ever noticed the cool crocodile pattern on the logs as they burn in the fire? I love bonfires and was able to partake in one with friends last night.
There is something awesome about a fire after dark that can be good for the soul. Now that may seem like an oxymoron for a Christian to find anything in darkness good for the soul, but bear with me.
I remember camping in the woods up in Hale, Michigan (about 27 miles from Oscoda). I remember sitting by the huge bonfire and wherever you sat, the area was brightly lit. The other side across from you were only shadows, and the further away you moved, the less you could see.
Anyone figure out where I am going? That bonfire is like our spiritual life. Jesus is our light. When we are walking closely with Him, the area is well-lit and easy to see. The fire (Holy Spirit) provides warmth and a comfort to the soul as we continue on.
When I was saved in February 1995, my bonfire took the ignition and caused the light to shine. I didn’t understand everything, the fire was small, but that’s okay. All I needed was to get it started and begin feeding it to grow bigger. The fire lit up the area around me, and I saw what God wanted me to. Some things don’t need to be seen until God is ready to put me in the area of light. The important thing is to look where I am at and make sure I am in His bright lit realm.
As most of us know, a fire also dims when it is not fed consistently with wood. One must throw logs on to maintain the light, and throw extra nutrients like paper and lighter fluid to increase the fire. If we don’t, we don’t see quite so clearly anymore. We start to see shadows and outlines, but we do not see the full picture. This dimming sight causes us to make mistakes and move away from God. We need to ignite and maintain the fire by reading God’s Word, fellowshipping with brothers and sisters in Christ, going to Sunday School and Church, etc… There is not a single fire that will stay lit if it is not fed. Eventually, it may go out all together.
When we start to move away from the fire, or stop feeding it all together, darkness encompasses us. Before we realize it, we are off in the woods with nothing to guide our way. Raccoons and bears could be lurking to trip us up on our path. The further we go, the more wildlife that becomes a threat. Until that bonfire comes into view again, the darkness holds complete control.
When I was a young adult, I let the fire decrease to hot ashes and then smoldering coals. I wandered off into the woods and landed in a heap of trouble. As you know from past posts, this trouble still surfaces in my mind and life today. It took me thirteen and a half years before I wandered upon the bonfire again. Now, I am trying to throw as much ignition as I can upon the flames.
The one great thing is that until we pass from this world, it is never too late to rediscover the bonfire . . . or to build one the first time. To build the bonfire initially includes simply believing on Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, and taking that belief to repent of your sins (For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; – Romans 3:23 . . . Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. – Romans 10:13).
Sitting by a fire with friends proves essential in one’s spiritual journey. When you sit next to a fire by yourself, you may get lonely or even a little scared. The noises all around can be heard, and the silence can be deafening. When you sit around the bonfire with friends and family, however, laughs can be heard. Fear dissipates due to the protection of numbers. A warm atmosphere is developed. It exemplifies the situation.
How’s your bonfire burning? Is it burning at all?