Build a Bigger Fire
I’m back home after this amazing Tour. It was beautiful, and exhausting. A marathon, and God was in it. It was demanding, and hard, but mostly it was beautiful. And filled with greater meaning. Something really important is taking place. Something really big.
Several years ago I was backpacking alone in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness in Colorado. It’s something I try and do once a year, that is, head to the high country for some time alone with God. I was camped on a high shelf in a high valley. It was June, and there were still patches of snow. The days were warm but the nights were cold. One evening after dinner I was just sitting in camp as the sun set, not really wanting to go to bed but too cold to enjoy the evening. I was sitting sort of hunched over, my arms wrapped round my legs, when God said, “Build a fire.” I don’t normally build campfires when I’m alone; usually when it gets dark I’m in my bag in the tent, reading by headlamp. But I clearly heard him say, “Build a fire.” My first thought was where am I going to get dry wood? I stood up, and turned toward a line of tall spruce trees about thirty yards behind me. Though it was a long line of trees, my eyes went immediately to one tree in particular, to the base, and there, under a canopy of boughs, was a pile of firewood. Stacked. Under the tree. Not broken or gathered, but actually cut with a saw. How, in this remote valley, in this secluded spot, under one of a hundred trees, was it possible I would find an abundance of dry wood neatly cut and stacked??!!
I slowly turned around, slowly doing a 360, to look behind me, around me, fully expecting Jesus himself to be standing there, smiling. You can understand, I was blown away. I gathered some wood, and made a fire ring. But I made it small, like an Indian fire for one person, and the wood God had provided did not fit. He spoke again. “Build a bigger fire.” I pushed out the stones, made a bigger ring, stacked the wood and let ‘er blaze. I knew it was a moment filled with greater meaning. A prophetic moment, if you will.
Standing each night on stage during this tour, looking out at the bright eyes and earnest faces eager to connect with God, eager to live this life he is calling us to live, eager to share it with others, I realized. Here is the bigger fire. You are the bigger fire. It’s come true.
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