Love Is Like A Fire

I subscribe to the Daily Dig hosted by the Daily Plough and get a short tidbit every morning from some amazing saints whose seasoned lives point down the road to a more vibrant, transforming faith.  This morning they posted this quote from a twenty-three year old, written in the 1500s from a dungeon where he had been imprisoned for his faith:

Love is like fire – When it is first kindled in a man, small troubles and temptations smother and hinder it; but when it really burns, having kindled the man’s eagerness for God, the more temptations and tribulations meet it, the more it flares, until it overcomes and consumes all injustice and wickedness.  (Love is Like Fire by Peter Riedemann)

This image could apply to a lot of conversations I had over the weekend in Phoenix.  Living in the Father’s love is a growing reality and as we’re growing to engage that love, it will help if we have an honest sense of how strong that love is in us at any particular time.  In the early days it can feel fragile as it succumbs easily to religious condemnation, gets challenged by events in our lives we don’t understand, or can even be swallowed up by our own distractions and indulgences.  Like a small fire in the wind, it may be difficult to sustain and it may be true that we’ll have to avoid some places and people where love in us is challenged or thwarted. 

But as we grow in the reality of a Father’s affection we discover that his love in us is the strongest force in the universe like a raging wildfire where the wind only makes it stronger.  Now it consumes the same influences that it sought to avoid so that we can be in those same places, or hang out with the same people.  No longer feeling challenged by their brokenness or judgment, we are free to love them as love finds its way toward justice, truth, and joy.   I used to think love was such a weak way to live in the world, and discovered that there is nothing stronger and nothing richer.  

So let love grow in you.  If you need to be careful for a season of those places where it is challenged, do so. But watch as that love begins to grow how free you’ll be in those settings that used to challenge you the most.  

What a powerful view of love, and a powerful observation by a twenty-three year old!  How I wish that were the predominant  heritage of the Anabaptist tradition from which Peter Riedemann came rather than their rigid theology.  I suspect most of our traditions had rich beginnings in people who came to discover and live in the depths of Father’s affection, only to have subsequent generations miss that reality and give more effort to systemitizing their beliefs than propogating his love.   Sad isn’t it?  Since it is only the ferocity of God’s love that changes a world, not all our doctrine or rituals.  

 

Share this Post!

Related post

8 Comments
  1. keijo June 7, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Yes  and amen for holy fire among us to burn love andkindness and steadfast to God in  Jesus name and  let the HOly Spirit be with us to help us to win and be blessing with healing and liberty from sin and from wicked life to rescue from fire of hell ,thanks and bless and joy,keijo sweden

  2. keijo June 7, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Yes  and amen for holy fire among us to burn love andkindness and steadfast to God in  Jesus name and  let the HOly Spirit be with us to help us to win and be blessing with healing and liberty from sin and from wicked life to rescue from fire of hell ,thanks and bless and joy,keijo sweden

  3. AMY HAUSER June 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Wayne,

    Stumbled across this just now and realize how your words here were/are speaking to the very thing that was heavy on my heart yesterday via our Skype! Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding me and letting me know that we (Tom and I) are in a “season” and a process of change that is guided by YOU, Father! We are not alone and can stand strong as warriors as we live life Loved. Let it BURN!

  4. AMY HAUSER June 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Wayne,

    Stumbled across this just now and realize how your words here were/are speaking to the very thing that was heavy on my heart yesterday via our Skype! Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding me and letting me know that we (Tom and I) are in a “season” and a process of change that is guided by YOU, Father! We are not alone and can stand strong as warriors as we live life Loved. Let it BURN!

  5. Janna October 26, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Wayne. I was having a conversation with some family and friends yesterday and the viewpoint was being presented that there is no grey area, only truth or lies. The conversation was mainly circling around “erroneous” theology and behaviour. I was challenging my family to view this concept a little differently, in that, in my experience, the Father will often lead me not to participate in some event or not to engage in a particularl fad-film because, in His words, “It won’t be good for me.” I have learned that that doesn’t mean it won’t be good for anyone and that is a big difference. It moves us out of the place of judgement upon all others who do not share our convictions, and allows us to simply follow God’s leading, realizing that each one of us is complex and at a different stage of healing and maturity, over a vast landscape of emotion and experience.

  6. Janna October 26, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Wayne. I was having a conversation with some family and friends yesterday and the viewpoint was being presented that there is no grey area, only truth or lies. The conversation was mainly circling around “erroneous” theology and behaviour. I was challenging my family to view this concept a little differently, in that, in my experience, the Father will often lead me not to participate in some event or not to engage in a particularl fad-film because, in His words, “It won’t be good for me.” I have learned that that doesn’t mean it won’t be good for anyone and that is a big difference. It moves us out of the place of judgement upon all others who do not share our convictions, and allows us to simply follow God’s leading, realizing that each one of us is complex and at a different stage of healing and maturity, over a vast landscape of emotion and experience.

  7. waynejacobsen October 26, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Janna, I love where your heart is and appreciate that others around you can only see things as right or wrong. Religion is a conformity-based environment and we must all do and think the same to keep validating each other, or so they think.  It might help in the future instead of responding with, “It won’t be good for me,” which is still in that same zone of what’s good or bad.  I tend to respond to that kind of stuff with, “I’ll give it some thought.”  Or, “I don’t know, I haven’t been too excited about seeing it (or going to it).”  You don’t owe everyone an excuse, especially those that are looking to judge you by your response.  I’m sure there’s a lot more going on here.  They are probably concerned about you and thus everything feels like a test as to whether you fit in or not.  Just keep loving them even in their brokenness and enjoy the liberty God has given you.   Hopefully the day will come when those who follow Christ will desire you to follow him as best you see him rather than conform to their expectations.  

  8. waynejacobsen October 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Janna, I love where your heart is and appreciate that others around you can only see things as right or wrong. Religion is a conformity-based environment and we must all do and think the same to keep validating each other, or so they think.  It might help in the future instead of responding with, “It won’t be good for me,” which is still in that same zone of what’s good or bad.  I tend to respond to that kind of stuff with, “I’ll give it some thought.”  Or, “I don’t know, I haven’t been too excited about seeing it (or going to it).”  You don’t owe everyone an excuse, especially those that are looking to judge you by your response.  I’m sure there’s a lot more going on here.  They are probably concerned about you and thus everything feels like a test as to whether you fit in or not.  Just keep loving them even in their brokenness and enjoy the liberty God has given you.   Hopefully the day will come when those who follow Christ will desire you to follow him as best you see him rather than conform to their expectations.  

Comments are closed.