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For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6

I could sit for hours by a campfire. I love to watch the flames dance as they change color. I enjoy the warmth and comfort they give me on those chilly or downright cold nights in the woods.

One night, while camping, my family and I decided to leave the warmth of our campfire to walk down by the lake we were camping at to look at the stars. There is no comparison to a starry night when you are 50 miles from the nearest small town and hundreds of miles from any large town. I always stand in awe of my God and Father when I look into his heavens.

Eventually, the coolness of the night had its effect on us and we decided to return to the fire. The flames had died down and there was nothing left but some glowing embers. I took a few small pieces of wood, laid them on the coals and began to fan the embers. Within minutes the flames had returned and the warmth of the fire was doing its work on our cold bodies.

The Apostle Paul was writing to his young protégé, Timothy. Apparently, for some reason Paul remembered the tears Timothy shed. Were they tears of loneliness in ministry? Were they the tears of a young man missing his teacher? Had Timothy gone through the loss of a friend or family member? We don’t know. But what we do know is the Paul encouraged Timothy to remember. He reminded him of his faith, the faith of his family, the strength of his God.

There are many times in our lives when the flames of God’s spirit can grow dim as a result of the struggles of family, work, or relationships. The quiet of the wilderness can fail to squelch the call of worry, doubt, guilt and frustration.

That night by the lake my spirit was restored by gazing into the heavens and remembering whose child I was. My heart was warmed by the reminder that this great God that hung the millions of stars in place stoops down to wipe my tears; offers a shoulder to cry on; offers forgiveness of my guilt.

Don’t allow the flame of God’s Holy Spirit to grow dim during the struggles of life. Focus on the facts of God’s love for you. Enjoy the warmth of his strength in your life. There is nothing you are going through that he has not sanctioned. There is nothing you have done, or can do that will keep him from offering you the warmth of his love.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, there are so many times that the trials of life keep the flames of your love and grace from reaching me. Let me sense your Spirit flowing through me so that I can be a light and shed the warmth of your love to others in need. Amen.

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