Context is Everything - God is a Consuming Fire

Recently, I received some difficult medical news. I experienced many emotions about it. One, I didn’t like the idea of a physician cutting out a bunch of my lower jaw (sorry to be graphic). Equally so, I didn’t like the idea of my left jaw bone being replaced with a donor/cadaver’s bone. And three, the 7-Phase treatment plan and the price tag of 19k really threw me for a loop! Now, granted, I would only be responsible for $8,500 – but still! The good news was that this 5 year old infection deep in my gum tissue (which has been draining into my body for 5 years and could have killed me) from a bad root canal just might be the culprit in my slew of health problems over the years, including but not limited to the fact that my skin on the back of my thighs and buttocks - again, sorry to be graphic-  if you don’t like unhindered discussions that may be disturbing, you may not want to read this one) had still not healed from their exposure to toxic chemicals in 2013!

In one sense, I was relieved to possibly have an answer to my health problems. This infectious culprit made sense. It was a way better reason/answer than judgmental people saying, “You know, if you quit thinking about your skin issues, it will heal on its own; your stress and worry is what is making it stick around”.

Or, even better was when people of faith said, “Hmmmm I wonder if you are being punished for something?”

“Really?!!!!!, Jack Ass! Yes, I’m a way worse sinner than you; that’s why my skin hasn’t healed from the exposure to pesticides and formaldehyde; thank you so much for your insight; I feel so much better now!” I thought to myself.

Or, here’s some even better ones…. “Have you prayed?” “Have you fasted?” “Have the elders of the church laid hands on you and prayed over you?”

And, to all of these comments, this is what I wanted to say, “Really?!!!!” and then proceed to pull down my pants and show them red blistered, sometimes puss filled infected skin FROM THE CHEMICALS and say, “You are the most ignorant, rude, judgmental person I know; do you have this?! Are you dealing with this?! Have you been sitting on ice since 2013?! No, so I suggest you keep your mouth closed when it comes to my suffering! Would you say something like that to someone who has cancer or a brain tumor?! Don’t answer that, you just might.”

Upon leaving the surgeon’s office, I felt so sick I wanted to barf. I was very sad and worn out too. As my husband pulled into a Smoothie King to buy me a yummy liquid meal to feed me and help cheer me up, I prayed that the surgeon would agree to a payment plan per phase. Then, we went home at which time my eyes just poured water for hours. I eventually went to bed and my eyes kept just pouring tears sometimes a fast pour, sometimes a slow drip. I wasn’t doing the sobbing, ugly crying thing; I was just stuck on continual leak mode.

The next day was my day off; thank God! I truly could not go to work even if I had to because my eyes just kept doing the fast pour or slow leak thing.  Around 10 or 11, I took my yoga mat outside to my back patio. There was a nice breeze so I decided to do my home physical therapy and my stretching and my modified work-out outside. As I started my physical therapy exercises for my knees (a whole other issue we won’t explore today), when I laid on my stomach to do my leg lifts, I was too exhausted from anxiety and sadness, so I just lay there. Honestly, I could barely move. My entire body felt like it weighed a thousand pounds. Or, more accurately, each leg had to weigh a thousand pounds. As I lay there with my face pressed into my purple yoga mat, I noticed sunlight glistening in the tears that were quickly sliding off of my nose. Then I noticed all the irritating ants. The bug man just came and treated, trying to kill them off, but as I lay there, I lost count of all of them; the bastards! I hated all these ants.

“I wonder how long it would take for the ants to cover my entire body with me just not moving, laying here? Would I even be able to tell the difference between ant bites and my infected skin?” I thought to myself. Then I thought, “Oh, God, I’m in trouble; please help me; I can barely move! I’m so tired, worn out, sick and tired of being sick and tired, sick and tired of sitting on ice, and yes, it is possibly good news to hear this might be the cause, but $8,500 and a cadaver left jaw bone?!!!!! As much as giving birth gave me PTSD, this seems worse! I hate having major surgery in my private area and/or my mouth! I don’t know which is worse?!!!! Father God – Dad, I’m in trouble here because I can barely move. Help me. Please speak to me. I can’t get up until I hear a Word from You. Only You can give me strength to face this and stand…… and can You pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase do it before these bastard ants cover my entire body?”

And then, as quickly and easily as I had just mumbled the above paragraphs, with the sunlight still hitching rides on every tear that rolled off my nose, forming a decent little puddle on my purple yoga matt, God began to speak….

“Fear and sadness are the same thing. Fear is the anxiety that IT will never happen or that it won’t stop happening. Sadness is the despair that IT will never happen or that IT will never stop happening. So, when I say, ‘Don’t be afraid – just believe!’ I AM essentially saying, ‘Don’t give into the anxiety or the sadness that FILL IN THE BLANK will never happen or that FILL IN THE BLANK will never stop happening.

Anxiety and sadness are crippling mindsets. And fear (the devil and sin) are at the root of every one of them – especially the sin of Unbelief. This is why the devil temps and taunts you with unbelief. He knows that if he can weaken your belief (by what you merely feel, see, can currently touch or not touch and hear in the mere physical) he weakens your physical and then spiritual perspective of MY POWER available to you to work in, and through, and for you.  This is why I allowed you to be physically disabled at the age of 7 and taught you in the coma that I AM not bound by the physical and nor are you BECAUSE OF ME.

So, strengthen your weak knees and feeble arms – make level paths for your feet that the lame may not be disabled but rather healed. Are you a victim by them or do you have a service for them? Choose your perspective WARRIOR DAUGHTER; Choose ME in you and receive your breakthrough!”

And like a dead person brought to life again, I stood up and this is what bolted out of my mouth….

“HEAVENLY FATHER, Right NOW I choose YOU in Me to see, hear, touch, and believe beyond the physical traps of my enemies! And I know I am free! I submit to YOU – NOT TO Fear’s traps of anxiety or sadness aimed at me like arrows to mortally wound me both physically AND spiritually! And, I choose to celebrate the VICTORY OF YOU FULLY RELEASED IN ME, THROUGH ME, AND FOR ME! In Jesus’ MIGHTY NAME, AMEN, AMEN, and AMEN!”

And I continued speaking to Him…

“You say, ‘Let Your yes be yes and Your no be no!’ My Yes is to YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And my No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

is to my enemies both physically and spiritually! Hoo-Ah!”

Then God spoke again….

“Hebrews 12 – Be the FIRE – I AM THE FIRE.”

Hebrews 12 New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

God Disciplines His Children

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Warning and Encouragement

14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.

The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire”

I was equally amazed at God’s personal Words to me as I was regarding his confirming Word in Hebrews 12, which He directed me to read.

Needless to say, I was able to remain standing. And although I am still in this body on this earth, experiencing many emotions, they are not my sole experience. My soul experience is one of many emotions but even more so on a reliance and trust upon God Himself! For, God is a consuming fire, and He will not be limited by my fears or anxiety or my circumstances or by me! Thank God! It is when I fully admit that I can’t but He can that He is able to work miraculously in, through, and for me – as well as for the good of others. And for Him and His loving decision to do so, I am eternally grateful.