I have been recounting to friends the lessons I’ve learned and the person that I’ve become through “walking through the fire.”
As I’ve shared over the past five years on this blog, I’ve had a number of difficult experiences that have devastated me at different times in my life, but the more I thought about it, each experience gave me a mirror to myself and a lens to a future me that I could be if I chose to focus on the lessons learned instead of the hurt inflicted or what or who I lost along the way.
Fire walking is not for the faint of heart; it requires a deep belief that, eventually, “this too shall pass” if I keep putting one foot in front of the other and trusting God for the victory. This is not always easy when you’re on the hot coals, but for me, it remains my spiritual compass.
I don’t personally know anyone who is a willing fire walker — situations just seem to pop up from time to time — but whenever life required that I put on my fire retardant foot wear, I was reminded of the truth of motivational speaker Zig Ziglar’s statement that, “It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.”
We each have an opportunity to determine if our fire walking will make us better or make us bitter — our choice.
With each experience, I remind myself of God’s promise to me that:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2)
As I noted in a previous blog, steel, in order to be strengthened for use, must be heated or “tempered” (see “Refining on Purpose,” June 24, 2017). We’re no different —often my struggles led to an important victory in some part of my life that confirmed that, while I may have been singed, I was not consumed.
As a seasoned “fire walker,” my greatest lesson has been that I must consciously choose to look for the good in the walk, especially since whether or not I walk over the fire is often out of my control. I’ve also come to appreciate that my personal, and especially spiritual, growth, unfortunately, required the fire experience.
So, while I don’t enjoy the process, I am grateful for the lessons that help me inspire others that “walking it out” through the fire is worth it!