"Don't Let the Fire Die"
Purpose filled ~ Passionate ~ Persistent Living
Purpose filled ~ Passionate ~ Persistent Living
The click of the door wakened my senses. I could feel his every move as he approached. Drawing near with every step, I could smell his cologne. Tingles ran the length of my spine and I giggled girlishly to myself. I turned to receive him with the spatula in my left hand and a spoon in my right. There he stood in the doorway of the kitchen with an arm full of blue roses. My jaw dropped and several tears escaped my eyes. He walked towards me with a warm and loving smile. I could hear the sizzle of the steak and the splatter of boiling water as they went on cooking without me, for I was lost in the moment. He gazed deep into my eyes, leaned in and kissed me Slow…Soft…Gentle…Sincere and Passionately. Without words he spoke to my soul, letting me know that he loved me.
Alfred walked into the courtroom seemingly prepared to defend his client but underneath the hard pressed, over starched white shirt and well creased striped navy suit were meditations of defeat. Alfred thought of the last several clients and their circumstances which resembled his current case. He recalled each with sorrow, reminded of the losses but most importantly he remembered the disappointments he felt after each ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. With only five years of experience as a lawyer, Alfred had grown weary of the process. In Alfred’s mind it seemed that far too many times the justice system failed and even hurt those whom it was created to protect.
Just days before the trial, Alfred met with his current client Marie. He told her that after reviewing the transcript again he did not have the expectation that she would win the case due to lack of compelling evidence. Furthermore, with three days left before the trial, he had no clue what points to argue. Marie listened in awe, shook her head and told Alfred they had a 50/50 chance in winning. She went through all the points Alfred could argue from, none of which he had considered previously.
Finally, Marie stared at Alfred with tears in her eyes asking him how confident he was in his ability to defend this case and argue on her behalf. Before Alfred could answer, Marie went on to ask if he was a praying man. Alfred answered by saying yes and told Marie he was a Christian. Marie continued, letting Alfred know that she believed in the power of prayer and would not stop fighting. She was insistent that no matter the outcome, she would stand in the gap as a voice for the people. For Marie, this was only the beginning and she was both willing and determined to fight through fears, doubts and all other obstacles for the sake of others.
Alfred went home and contemplated Marie’s thoughts, passion, persistence and even her purpose for continuing to fight what appeared to be a lost cause. Marie had reminded him of his purpose in becoming a lawyer practicing this particular type of law. Though he knew it would not be easy, Alfred agreed with himself and God as he prayed that night, to put forth his all to defend Marie. He decided not to allow past failures to overshadow his purpose. Alfred left the courtroom that day with a new spark, for he came out victoriously.
The doctor walked into the room and told CJ’s family there’s nothing else to be done. Glen, CJ’s brother, stood up and began yelling at the top of his lungs, “SAVE MY BROTHER! GET BACK IN THE ROOM AND SAVE HIM! DON’T COME OUT HERE TELLING ME THERE’S NOTHING ELSE YOU CAN DO…GET BACK IN THERE AND SAVE HIM!” Save my brother, he sobbed.
Glen was angry with the doctor, the hospital, the EMT personnel and the world. At long last, he fell to his knees, shedding tear after tear, howling intently, reduced from man to boy. Glen was at his lowest, weakest and most vulnerable moment. He couldn’t fathom living without CJ. They were best friends. What would he do now?
His wife Hope knelt at his side placing her hand on his and Imani, his sister stood behind him with her hand on his back. Both women wept alongside this man, a man they loved so deeply. They were hurt, confused and had no words to resolve the pain and anguish that Glen was experiencing. Momma JoAnn stood in front of them and began to pray:
FATHER IN THE NAME OF YOUR SON JESUS, WE ASK THAT YOU GIVE US STRENGTH TO ENDURE THESE MOMENTS. GRANT US MERCY. HOLD US CLOSE, PROVIDING COMFORT, PEACE AND EVEN UNDERSTANDING. WE DON’T KNOW WHY YOU TOOK CJ HOME BUT LORD WE TRUST YOU EVEN NOW. THANK YOU FOR THE LIFE HE LIVED. THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE HE SHARED. THANK YOU THAT HE KNEW YOU IN THE PARDON OF HIS SINS. THANK YOU THAT HE IMPROVED EACH OF US WITH HIS KIND WORDS AND HUMOUROUS WAY. TAKE AWAY THE ANGER AND FRUSTRATION THAT WE FEEL. LET YOUR WILL BE DONE IN OUR LIVES. BE A HEDGE OF PROTECTION. CAPTURE EACH TEAR AND TURN SORROW INTO ABUNDANT JOY. RESTORE, HEAL AND INSPIRE US TO DO MORE AND BE MORE. MAKE US AND MOLD US INTO WHAT YOU CREATED US TO BE. IN THE NAME OF YOUR SON JESUS WE PRAY, AMEN.
Years later as Glen mounted the desk to share his initial sermon, his mind took him to areas in his life when he had been disappointed, broken-hearted, beaten, abused, taken advantage of and rejected. He reflected on that day in the not so distant past when he had to find the courage and determination to live without his brother. Glen remembered how CJ’s death struck a chord in his spirit and suddenly he no longer wanted drugs and alcohol but he wanted revival. He wanted to live a life of purpose just as his brother had. Glen didn’t want CJ’s life to be in vain so he persevered through every struggle, facing each addiction and every curse in order to become a better man. In his heart he wanted to be free of strongholds. He no longer wanted desensitization but he wanted to feel everything, whether good or bad.
Losing CJ was the most difficult thing Glen had ever faced but as he looked back, striving with God, each tear, the determination and the persistence it took to become free was worth all that he had endured. His relationships were mended and he was now a whole man…the man God created him to be.
What message or messages do you see in the above stories? Whether it is the fiery passion of love between you and your spouse, the fire of a purpose-filled life or the fire of living a persistent life, where have you allowed your fire to die?
No matter the caption above, each story possesses components of passionate living, purpose-filled living and persistent living…maybe one more than the other but consider these questions and decide today to allow the fire in your life to be reignited. Don’t settle for the short-sighted vision of others to predicate your living.
Be intentional to keep the fire alive in your marriage, in your business, in your home, in your dreams, in your ministry, in your service, in your giving, in your praying, in your fasting, in your mind, in your heart…begin the rekindling process today and live your best life with PASSION, PURPOSE AND PERSISTENCE!
God is my refuge and strength,
A very present and well-proved help in trouble
~ Psalm 46:1
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation…
Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father
~ James 1:12-17