Burning Torches

Based on Isaiah 50:10-11.

She forged ahead, confident, certain that what she was doing was right. Until it went wrong, until it all went up in flames. The plans she had made crumbled before her, and her mind swarmed with questions. How could this have happened? Where did I make a wrong turn? Why, Lord?

The future she had envisioned – the husband, the happy home, the contentment – vanished before her very eyes. It was almost as if a light had flickered out in her heart, that some semblance of hope had died when the dream did.

And it made her wonder, was it really hope at all? Or was it false? Was the light she had been pursuing in that relationship really light, or was it a spotting flicker she had fashioned for her own sake, wanting it so desperately to be real, to be right?

A consuming fire sustains, but a self-kindled fire, a burning torch, flickers and eventually dies. There is no life in a mere rod of wood, no power in a man-made device. She had crafted for herself a burning torch to guide her, all the while neglecting the lasting light that was already hers in Christ.

His light had been hers from the time he had first wooed her. It had never been retracted; rather, it was haughtily pushed aside, quenched, replaced. By a mere spot of flickering flame, sustained by a piece of earth.

The fire she had kindled to be her own guide proved ineffective when the rains came, for it smoldered and went out as quickly as it had sparked. And when the skies poured down their gracious rains, she realized the light of her Consuming Fire was all she could look to for help and for hope.

Only by the light of his fire would she move forward to restoration, to remembrance. The light of Christ would be her confidence, her reward, and would consume in its power her foolish, smoldering torch.

But she would not be burned up. No. She would be refined, as gold in the flames.

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