Cultivating the will to live

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I will live with expectation that God can make my unattractive past into something amazingly beautiful and worthwhile. --Christina Cook Lee, A Quest For New Strength
Link to New Strength Devotional, Audio Version.
I will live with expectation that God can make my unattractive past into something amazingly beautiful and worthwhile. --Christina Cook Lee, A Quest For New Strength
New Strength Devotional Inspirational Statement of the Day

Focus: Finding inspiration

Hebrews 12:28-29 (NKJV) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

It’s hard to live without inspiration. When one empty day bleeds over into another, and another, and another—there really isn’t much to live for. On any given day, it seems like there is nothing new and maybe there never will be. You know something is missing, but you don’t have any idea what. You live with a vague boredom, as though time is passing and you are just a disinterested observer.

You see other people who appear as though they’re enjoying life. They look like they are happy and filled with inspiration, and you wonder ‘how’. There are a lot of things to wonder about concerning ‘inspiration’. What does it mean to be inspired? Merriam-Webster says the word ‘inspired’ means: ‘outstanding or brilliant in a way or to a degree suggestive of divine.’ Something especially brilliant is ‘fire’.

When I was a young girl, my parents decided to build a large stone fireplace in our home. My mom and dad had collected a lot of big, heavy rocks for several years. Some of the rocks were from places they had gone on vacation—others were from the farmland around us that seemed to continually ‘produce’ new rocks every spring. On the outside, some of the rocks didn’t hold your attention. However, when they were cracked open—many of them were glittering works of art. The rocks they had collected were a variety of colors and textures. With a lot of effort, they built an amazingly beautiful—and functional fireplace that became a highlight of our home.

When you’re using a fireplace as a ‘heat source’, you have to keep the fire burning when it’s cold outside. Once a fire is lit, it doesn’t just continue to burn without some attention and encouragement. I remember going through all of the various steps to get fires to burn. My dad taught us that the best way to start a fire, was to take some waded up waste paper and stack some small sticks of dry, ‘kindling’ wood around the paper into the shape of a ‘tee-pee’. When the paper inside the tee-pee was set on fire with a match, the kindling wood usually caught on fire within a few minutes.

Once the kindling wood was burning, we could carefully start to add larger pieces of firewood. If there were pieces of wood that had been split—we could prop pieces on top of the burning kindling—and the split wood would ‘catch’ on fire better than a piece of wood that was still whole.

Sometimes when we’d get a fire started in the fireplace, we could enjoy several hours of warmth and pleasure. If we left the fire unattended—it would usually burn for a while and then sometimes go out. If the fire went out completely, we’d have to start all over again. If there were some embers that were still ‘alive’, there were ways to ‘stoke’ the fire—or, ‘coax’ the embers to spark back to flames.

Sometimes, the fire had died down and there were only a few hot coals left amongst the ashes in the bottom of the fireplace. For those times, we had a bellows. That fascinating device was capable of forcefully blowing oxygen onto the hot coals, which, in turn, could produce a flame if we were persistent enough.

To get a fire going again with the bellows, we had to have some passion…possibly produced from not wanting to freeze to death. If we were interested in rekindling the flame, we had to be willing to exert some energy in the process, since the bellows we had, were manually operated.

This process was accomplished by holding onto the two handles and quickly ‘pumping’ them first ‘apart’ and then, ‘together’. When the handles were pulled apart, air rushed into a chamber located between them. When the handles were pushed back together, air was forced out the tubular outlet on the opposite end of the handles. By pointing the bellows at the hot coals and pumping the handles rapidly, we could sometimes bring a fire back to life.

Finding inspiration can be a lot like starting a fire. You may not see anything attractive about the wasteland of your past, but if you ask the Holy Spirit to guide you—you will find treasure to build from. True inspiration comes from the Holy Spirit. The spark, or flame can be fed through the time you spend in the Word of God and in prayer. At times, you will have to draw deeply from the breath of God to keep your faith and fire burning. You can’t ignore it and expect it to keep you warm.

Declaration: I will find new strength and get fired up with inspiration, by believing such things are possible by power of the Holy Spirit. I will keep my inspiration fire alive by investing myself in the Word of God and prayer. I will live with the expectation that God can make my unattractive past into something amazingly beautiful and worthwhile.

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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.




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