“GIVE ME A REASON TO MAKE FIREWOOD OUT OF A FALLEN TREE”
I heard this statement for the first time approximately one month ago. My brother was the one who introduced me to it. He has a love for Spanish Christian music because as he says to me “the music is so much prettier, the words just melt together in a way that English cannot.” To be fair, his Spanish is amateur at best but he understands just enough to convey the message that is intended to come across. One particular song, I believe his favorite one in fact (but don’t quote me on that, I am very guilty of halfway listening at times) includes lyrics that he informed me was translated to “Give me a reason to make firewood out of a fallen tree.”
This stuck with me. In the beginning, I was unsure why considering the statement didn’t really make much sense to me. However, today, it did.
For the last few weeks I have had this thought sitting with me day and night, it was on my heart and mind constantly. I knew God was telling me “Now.” It was time for me to be baptized. I had been baptized once when I was very, very young in front of a large congregation of a Baptist Church in Batesville, Arkansas. All I remember from this experience was thinking “I get to swim in the pool under the cross!” and throwing my hands up in the air after they dunked me in the water because that is what I had seen the adult in front of me do right before it was my turn to step in. It is my personal belief that baptism is a very personal, mature choice and can not be determined so early in childhood. I had no true idea what was going on or what any of it meant at the time, so how can that decision that is supposed to be based on faith and understanding and is described as a deliberate step in your faith be made at such a young age? Can you fully agree to something you do not fully understand?
Regardless, the past few weeks, the topic was laying heavily upon my heart. So I decided “Okay, it’s time.” I decided the best person to baptize me was my husband. He was instructed to be the leader of our household, the one to help lead our spiritual path with God by instruction and example. He had recently given his own life to the Lord and I knew he was the one to help me make this next big step in mine. I had tried multiple times, kind of just at random, to just go get baptized. “While we are here, let’s go ahead.” Each time, something had hindered this from happening. I was very confused by this. I KNEW God was telling me it was time, but each time he seemed to be placing an obstacle. This continued for about a week, and then about two nights ago, a little after midnight, when both my husband and I had climbed in bed, kissed goodnight, and rolled over and closed our eyes did God finally decide it was time. I know, Typical God to be all mysterious and never do anything according to our timeline, right?
Me: “Babe, you’re going to hate me.”
Cole: “Why am I going to hate you?”
Me: “It’s time.”
I expected a “time for what?” but there wasn’t one. He knew.
I expected a grumble. I mean, we had to get out of our comfy bed in the middle of the night, in our pj’s, to climb into an ice cold pool. I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea myself, but he didn’t grumble. He said, “Okay” and that was that. This behavior was odd to me considering all my earlier attempts that week were accompanied by a few unhappy grumbles because of knowing that he was about to get his clothes and he was not in the mood for it. So when I rolled over that night, I definitely expected grumbles. There was none. So we climbed out of bed and barefooted it all the way down to the pool.
I will not talk about my experience, because that is a separate post of it’s own but I will tell you that I climbed into bed with a peace unlike any other. I was filled with relief because I had taken a step I was scared of for so long and all the anxieties of that day (and there were many) and the previous days, and all the days afterwards were handled. I had a God on my side ready to take them all.
What I will tell you is soon after climbing back in bed, overwhelmed with love, forgiveness and experiencing the most peaceful moment of my life, halfway across the United States, hundreds of people were experiencing the worst moments of theirs. I didn’t find out until I had awoken the next morning and was notified via Facebook that a family member had marked themselves safe from “The Violent Incident In Las Vegas.” Of course, I had to immediately google Las Vegas to read about what had happened but throughout the next 24 hours the news had spread to everyone. We all scrolled our Facebooks and Twitters, played our live News Coverages, and conspiracy theoried as we watched the casualties rise from 4 to 59, the injuries or possible deaths from 200 to over 527. That number is astounding. But, here’s the real kicker, even if that number had been 1. If that person had not known the love of our God, that number, which is 526 less than the previous is still astounding.
I was sitting at home yesterday, laid in my bed watching the many videos that had been sent in of the event and never have I ever been more affected by a disaster. My stomach hurt, I wanted to cry and throw up and I didn’t even know a single person affected. But I knew the probability of those who weren’t feeling that same spiritual peace I had been feeling just a few hours before. I also knew what that phrase had meant, “Give me a reason to make firewood out of a fallen tree.”
I am the Fallen Tree. You are the fallen tree.
They were the reason. They ARE the reason; every person who didn’t know God, every person who was affected by this pain, every person who will be affected by this type of pain, every person who will ever walk into something that is supposed to be fun, joyful, and normal but will face that same level of danger. We never know our last moments. Sometimes I will hear a song and wonder when will be the last time I ever hear this song and will I know when I do?
God called us to be disciples. He called us to love others and spread the good news. He called us to make disciples out of others. He called us to make Firewood! Use every part of you; every thought, every sin ever committed, every lesson learned and every bit of wisdom and understanding acquired through him to help reach others with love. Never be the reason someone may have to face such a terrifying situation without knowing the love that God has for them.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they her without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written; ‘How Beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'” Romans 10:14-15
My Heart is with everyone affected by this incident in a way unlike ever before. My prayers are with you.