Wet Match Days
2 Timothy 1:6 Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you . . .
Sitting in treatment, it was easy to promise myself that when I got out, I would passionately pursue God every day for the rest of my life. I just knew that God’s flame would burn hot in me, never growing cold. Many days are like that. I do often awaken with fire and joy at the thought of another day with God.
Then, there are the days when I feel like I am trying to start the fire with wet matches and damp wood. And it is starting to rain. As the dark clouds gather, the temptation is just to throw in the towel, forgetting the work of starting a fire. I’m not feeling it. I guess I’ll just get on with the day.
Whether it is tempting thoughts or unwelcome, obsessive ideas assaulting my mind, my nature is to give in to the dark thoughts, allowing the flame of God in me to flicker and fade. Unfortunately, indulging in my nature does not satiate it. Rather, the darkness grows as I abandon the fire.
When the spark is most difficult to fan into a flame, that is when I must demand of myself the effort to do it, for that is when I need it the most. When I do not feel like turning my gaze to God, when I do not feel like chasing away the dark, that is when I must do so. God does not leave me alone in my struggle, but it is absolutely my responsibility to feed the fire, fanning it into a flame.
When I sit in my chair at 5:00 AM and struggle to turn my thoughts to God for a few minutes of prayer, that is when I must be most desperate to wrestle those distracting thoughts to the ground. That is when I must read, pray and meditate until I regain focus. Those wet match days are the days when I must not leave my chair until I turn my mind and life to God.