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Last…or Lasting?

This week’s prompt from LisaJo Baker for Five Minute Friday is LAST. So, we write for five minutes – no stopping, no editing – and pour our hearts out. Here is my best five minutes on LAST.

Five Minute Friday

START

Do you ever feel like when it comes to God’s priorities, you’re last on the list?

Your fears, dreams, hopes, deepest hurts and needs laid bare before Him and His eyes, mind and heart are elsewhere?

You stand in the middle of a fire, painful singe marks blister your heart yet your cries – like those in the worst of nightmares – make no sound. You try to run to the safety of the shelter of His wings, yet your feet stand fast to the floor, wrapped in the flames of pain, hurt, regret, confusion.

I’ve been there, friend. More times than I can count. Each time I stand in the fire I hope – I pray – its the last time. Of course, it never is. There’s always a next time.

But if I’ve learned one thing of these times of walking through fire, it’s this:

What remains when the extra is consumed in the fires of uncertainty; when the chaff blows away in the winds of terrifying change; when everything you’ve ever known is ripped from beneath you in the spiritual natural disaster…what remains is what lasts.

When I feel those flames licking my feet, whipping my soul, I wrap tight my spiritual hands around the beautified, purified, shining treasure left from the last time. I relish the refreshing coolness of that most-pure-gold against the skin of my soul and I remember.

I remember how when I felt most alone, that was when He was most present.

When I felt most lost, most abandoned, most confused, most worn down and beat up, that is when He was most tender, most wise, most patient, allowing the flames to take only what was necessary to produce the masterpiece of purified, sparkling, bejeweled glory that can only come from the pain of purification.

It doesn’t make the next fire any less painful, or the doubt any less real. Sometimes we are in the fire because of a choice we made. Sometimes we are there because we are caught up in the choices of those around us. And sometimes…sometimes the only reason we are there is because there is a beauty on the other side – a view of His face – impossible to see without journeying through the firey valley of the shadow of death.

Because it’s dark, you know, there in the midst of the flames.

But the beauty that comes when the flames die down, and the pain subsides and darkness fades and once again your vision is clear and your heart strong is a beauty that will last.

So when you feel like last on the list of God’s heart, look around and look ahead to the lasting beauty that awaits you at the end of the darkness.

STOP

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22 Responses to “Last…or Lasting?”

  1. Beautiful words and an honest message. Your vulnerability and strength compliment one another. Well done.

  2. Chandra says:

    Visiting from FMF. This spoke to my heart! I can so relate to “what’s left is what lasts”. And this: “when I felt most alone, that was when He was most present.” So true, and beautifully written! Thank you for this encouragement!

  3. lonistel says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart. Yes, I’ve had those lonely times, when Jesus was the only one who seemed to care – but really, whom else do we really need? Thank you for sharing truth!

    http://wp.me/p97XK-5dJ

  4. Ah yes, the refiner’s fire. Creating something of lasting value. Thank you for sharing. These are beautiful words.

  5. mrsthaywood says:

    Your words are so visual. Beautifully written and a truthful message. There are times in life where we may feel last but those are the time we should trust the most. Thank you for sharing…

  6. chills and shivers from all this beautiful truth. Just one of the many bits I loved…
    “I wrap tight my spiritual hands around the beautified, purified, shining treasure left from the last time”. Gonna hide this one in my heart. Visiting from Five Minute Friday! be blessed!

  7. I needed this today. God has been silent in my life for a long season and doubt is threatening. Thank you.

  8. singlemombomb1 says:

    This was beautiful. And so true. And something I so often need to remember! Thank you!

  9. Very wisely and sweetly shared. And very true. Refiner’s fire is so hard to endure, but the results are always worth it!

  10. This is so beautiful and SO true! Keep on writing…

  11. Dana says:

    “And sometimes…sometimes the only reason we are there is because there is a beauty on the other side – a view of His face – impossible to see without journeying through the firey valley of the shadow of death.”

    YES, YES!! That. The view of His face. The connectedness to His heart that only comes from being hidden in Him through great pain.

    I loved this post. Really resonated with me. Thank you!

  12. Amy Tilson says:

    I love the journey from your first use of last until the end. I know I have certainly felt last on the list, sometimes not even on the list. But the knowledge of what the refiner’s fire brings is a comfort. Thank you so much for these beautiful words of truth today. I think I’ve needed to read them for a while now.

  13. Mel says:

    “I remember how when I felt most alone, that was when He was most present.” How true this is. Beautiful words today…thank you for sharing!

  14. I’ve been trying to comment, and it won’t let me.

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