Fires can be small and contained, like a campfire built for smores, but some fires can scorch acres of our souls like a wildfire in the mountains. Sometimes the fires have kerosene dumped on them over and over as they ravage our soul and test what we are made of. We have to walk through the fires to get out of them.

Sometimes it would be easier to throw in the towel. It can be much less painful to not fight anymore. Fighting is hard. Fighting takes strategy and stamina, resolve and awareness. Fighting means you hold ground no matter what comes – no matter what enemy or what the enemy you know throws at you.

Walking through fire means a new version of yourself can emerge because that kind of change only comes from being burned.

It has to hurt. The fire has to burn away the dead, the dying, the weak and the selfish. The flames have to melt away our insecurities and the lies we believe as truth.

Precious metals are purified through fire. High heat kills viruses and bacteria. Our souls are no different.

Hurts root down deep, underground where we bury them until an attack on our being causes a tug on the intrinsic nature of the lenses we see life through. The fire brings them to the surface and we are forced to deal with the pain buried within.

We need to let it burn. 

We need to feel the truth of the injuries and we need to let them burn as much as it needs to so new growth can emerge.

We don’t have to be defined by our burns. We need to walk through the fire. We can allow the fire to define us, to summon the sympathy of others and feed on the attention for shallow pleasures, possibly allow the fires to swallow us whole and find a damaging trail to follow,  or we can be changed for the better. The choice is always ours to make.

It hurts – physically, mentally, emotionally and yes, even spiritually.

We were made to fight, made to wrestle, made to withstand attacks and made to be injured by them. We were made to fight back. We were built to withstand.  Most importantly – we were made to walk through the fires with the Holy Spirit.

We don’t stand alone. Those who are in Christ Jesus have the Holy Spirit and we are never alone. Ever. We were never alone when we couldn’t feel Him, when the night was so dark death seemed better. We were never alone when we felt abandoned and unloved, forgotten and battered.

Our fights usually aren’t pretty and they certainly aren’t easy. In fact, our fights are different for those of us who are called.

Our call means we hang in there much longer than we would like or look like we should. It means while we walk through the fire – we don’t lose hope and we also see victory with no evidence in sight. We don’t give in to apathy. We don’t stay bitter.

We have our moments but we don’t stay there.

After all, everything is a season. Wildfires don’t burn forever and neither will our fires burn forever.

Rest assured they will keep coming, but through each one we walk through, we can become more and more beautiful if we allow them to do their job.

When we take the heat, take the injuries, tend to our wounds and learn to navigate life better and better, we can reach our hand out of our fire and grab someone’s hand in their fire.

We can walk through our fires together. With the Holy Spirit we can encourage, strengthen and give hope to others burning their rough places even as we kindle in our own.

What emerges from our fires is what we allowed for while we burned and how we decide to rebuild after the flames have been put out.

The ashes and the ruins serve as a reminder of what we felt, of how we felt. The ashes serve us what we need to serve others as they burn in similar fires.

Walking fiercely through, knowing the good is on the other side, will help us love the better version of ourselves and also help us love others better.