Long Walk to the Fire

Isaiah 64

Last week I ran across a painting I have come to love entitled, Long Walk to the Fire. The artist is unknown and there wasn’t any chatter to be found online. So, I simply stared at it and began to feel the pain of the boys in the painting. The boys in the painting have 4 buckets of water and must walk a great distance just to throw those buckets of water on a fire far larger than such a meager water drop could influence.

It’s frustrating and saddening to watch things fall apart in the world—or even in one’s life, and feel powerless to do anything about it. We not be completely powerless. We have our part to play. Yet, all we’ve got by scale is four buckets of water and miles to walk to get to the fire with them.

Any given day or week, it isn’t difficult to feel like the boys in the painting. We see a world on fire—or at least torn up by violence, dissension, sins of all and other types, and can feel like the prophet Isaiah who begged God to break through.

“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence— as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.” (Isaiah 64:1–3, ESV)

For all God’s sons and daughters who feel like everything has come apart and want God to tear the heavens apart and come down—let’s keep asking this Advent season. Let’s own our role in the darkness, and beg God to break in. He broke in through Christ, and now we await the Day when Christ “rends the heavens” at His return.

We may have four buckets and miles to walk–a long walk to the fire. Lamenting this is appropriate and helps put words to what we feel when we see injustice, crimes, and the devastating consequences of our sin. But when Christ appears…

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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