Ah, summertime in Texas. That blazing fire we can feel from nearly 93
million miles away on our necks as we pull weeds from the garden, on
our arms as we drive to visit family, and on our back after we’ve
splashed in the lake until dinnertime. That heat is what makes
watermelon sweet and glasses of iced tea sweat.
It’s a time when I am extremely thankful. Thankful for air
conditioning! I won’t ever complain about the weather, but that
doesn’t mean I can’t avoid it. But today it got me thinking. I was
outside for just a few minutes and I felt like I was melting. It
reminded me of a speech I once heard.
The speaker told us to imagine driving in a car with a chocolate bar,
then to imagine parking and forgetting that we’d put the chocolate bar
on the dash as we walk out into the hot Texas summer sun. Hours later,
we return to the car and find a horrible mess of a surprise on our
dash. What happened?
What melted it?
You’re wrong. Here’s the kicker: isn’t heat the same thing that
solidifies bricks in the oven? Isn’t heat what turns a liquid egg into
that perfect golden omelet? It’s not the heat that melts you, it’s
what you’re made of.
In the Texas heat I sometimes think about Matthew 3: 11. Before Jesus
started his ministry, John the Baptist said, “I baptize you with water
for repentance, but he who is coming after me . . . will baptize you
with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Yeah, that’s why there are so many Christians in Texas. We get
baptized with fire 3-4 months of the year. Or do we?
As Jesus comes to purify us with fire, to melt our hearts and harden
our convictions, do we feel a little heat and run back in the A/C
where we are comfortable? When Jesus comes with fire to transform our
state of what matters, do we hop in the pool and claim we’re baptizing
for repentance (again).
What are we afraid of? That we’ll burn? No, for the Christian who is
willing to go through the fire, who accepts the discomfort of a little
sweat, and is willing to let the world around them be subject to the
same fire, they will not be burned. They will be transformed.
So this summer, don’t be afraid of a little spiritual heat. Know who
made you and what you’re made of. And know that he made you to be
brought through the fire. And the best part is, you’re never ever ever
See you at the watering hole.