Friday, June 20, 2008


After our house burned in 1995 I took a course on how to use a fire extinguisher. I know, I know, it was a little late. But just in case lightening decided to strike twice, so to speak, I wanted to be ready.

The trainer started a small fire for me to put out and I aimed my extinguisher at the flames and let her go. The fire didn’t go out. Why? I was aiming at the result of the source instead of the source of the flame.

In the same way, when we struggle with sin we usually try to put out the flame instead of investigating the source. For instance, I’ve been fighting depression, discouragement, worry, and fear over a certain situation. Being the optimist that I am, I’ve just put on a happy face and trudged on, knowing that with a little self-control I could beat it.

Didn’t work.

I meditated on the scripture, quoted it out loud, and for a while I felt better. But then a phone call sent me back to the clutches of discouragement. No amount of self-control, meditation and focus, positive thoughts could put out the flames that consumed my soul.

What was happening to me? Why didn’t God hear me? Why wasn’t He doing what He said He would do in I John 5:14 & 15 for crying out loud???? I was immobilized by the constant barrage of circumstances that shouted, “Your prayer for this situation will never be answered.”

Then one morning on my front porch, out of nowhere, I heard, “Your circumstances do not change My truth.”

All of a sudden I recognized the source of my turmoil. I believed what I saw rather than the promise of God. The circumstances around me were more real than the power of the One who created this world with a word.

I had exchanged the one true God for one made in my image. I repented and extinguished the source of my turmoil.

Did the circumstances change? No, they are just as hateful as ever. Did God’s truth change? No, His truth still stands.

I changed.