“… and anything else that can withstand fire must be put through the fire, and then it will be clean. But it must also be purified by the water of cleansing. And whatever cannot withstand the firemust be put through that water”
(Numbers 31:23 NIV).
As I stood outside and watched the fire trucks leave the hotel, I realized that God had now brought my family through both the flood and the fire within a month’s time.
While it wasn’t a major fire, thank God, and I don’t believe anyone was hurt, my family and I were required to evacuate the hotel we had been staying at temporarily, since having been displaced from our home due to a flood. Amazingly enough, “The Cleansing of Fire and Water” was the title of the blog post I had come up with and planned to write the day before the fire actually occurred. For some reason, I decided not to write it. Apparently, God hadn’t yet provided the material.
As I told friends and loved ones of the most recent occurrence, I had joy in my spirit. Some people around me couldn’t understand that. I’m certain some brushed it off as really bad luck and others thought maybe that I was making more of a minor fire than they thought I should. Truly, in light of the horrific disasters and attacks going on in other places of the world, our “disasters” hardly qualify as such. And those folks are right. I agree with them. This wasn’t a disaster. I think it’s more like my Daddy’s idea of organic Holy Spring cleaning.
His to Own, His to Renew
As with other areas of my life, I’m realizing the importance of yielding control over all I “own” to my Father. My kids, house, husband, job … and even my hotel room aren’t mine. They’re all on temporary loan, with His provision and His expectation of my good stewardship over all of them. And what’s even better is that I’m not my “own” anymore either. I gave that up, too, when I gave Him my heart.
So if He needed to wash out some things, to refresh some others, and to even destroy to rebuild — whether through flood or fire, it’s really His call to do it. I am being cleansed, not harmed. And just like spring cleaning, I believe that sometimes we have to move even the heaviest of furniture to clean out what’s been concealed in the dark behind or underneath the dust. My prayer is that I will not return, what He has moved, to the place where it once was.
His Power in the Elements
He has used the elements of fire and water to cleanse my family and apparently, in a small way, He’s shown us that we’ve withstood the test. I haven’t been joyful in every moment of it, and the water part didn’t exactly feel like a relaxing bubble bath, but I know it’s done more for my soul than a bubble bath would have. I know that doesn’t mean that we’re clean of our potential to sin, but apparently, there is a layer exposed and some stuff removed that just wasn’t before. He’s moved all of our big furniture expertly. He has used His mightiest of cleaning ingredients and His gentle and purposeful touch in the process. His hand has been all over my flood and my fire, His revelation in the cleansing, and the reassurance of the glory that is to come, in the days ahead.
Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s also the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly men-in-training. Her blog name “The Landing” comes from the account of the Ark resting on the mountain, creating a settled place — a landing — for man to start over, which echoes her new life in Christ.