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The Fire Starter

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No one would ever make the claim that I am the best fire builder in the world. My feeble but arduous attempts to achieve this feat have always been met with utter failure and disappointment. Oh, I can ignite paper, but each time the results are less than satisfying. Sometimes the paper burns up, leaving a charcoal residue behind, while the wood minds its own business as if it has never even heard of fire. Other times, the wood DOES eventually catch fire, but it burns slowly, with hardly any hint of flames, leaving only the bitter, suffocating aroma of smoke behind to blow in my face no matter where I place myself. While I sweat buckets and my face changes to the color of charcoal, the wood seems to enjoy itself while it does everything EXCEPT burn!

Then one day I was introduced to an unattractive piece of granulated wood, hardly bigger than a credit card. It called itself: "Fire Starter"!

"This would help me start a fire?" I asked doubtfully. "How can something so small be of any help at all?"

"Try it!" was the only answer I received.

I wasn't so sure, but I bought some anyway. The next time I tried to masterfully build a camp fire by myself however, I left it in its package. It wasn't until I (quite naturally!) once again failed that I found myself pondering: "Why not try that weird-looking block of whatever it is. I have nothing to lose!"

Doubtfully I placed that "thing" at the bottom of the wood pile and ignited it. To my utter amazement, it sprang instantly into life and shared its fiery substance with the wood above. Before I knew it I had a gorgeous campfire!

There was admiration in the voice of one of my boys as he said, "Wow! Papa. You sure have learned how to build a fire!"

I was in complete shock. "I-I-I didn't do it," I answered lamely. "That what-cha-ma-call-it brought the fire to life!"

"Uh . . . You mean the fire starter!" was his response.

Now I do not need to sweat any longer when asked to build a fire. I have found a friend called the fire starter to come to my help. Building a fire has become child's play. Literally! My boys can now build a fire too!

How often don't we try to resolve our problems on our own? Persisting, insisting, persevering, we face our trials head on, confident that we have what it takes to rise above our circumstances. However, how often are we successful? Usually we spend time in sweat, dreading the inevitable disastrous results.

If only we would take the time to get to know the One who really can make a difference in our lives, Jesus Christ, we would discover that we are not all alone out there in the midst of our own storms. We have a friend we can rely on, one who will always assist us in rising successfully to the occasion. The more we let Him be in control of our lives, the more we fall in love with Him. He truly cares for us and will never leave us by ourselves if we ask Him for His help. His promises are true. Many who know Him have experienced the realization of His promises first-hand.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28 NIV)

"Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt 28:20 NIV)

With such a Friend as Jesus, why worry?

Building a fire? No problem. Where's the fire starter?

Rob Chaffart

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