Our home of exactly 3 weeks has a gas fireplace insert. It was one of the things that enticed us to put an offer on this particular home, and you can imagine our disappointment when the previous owners didn't leave the remote control for the fireplace.
Now you likely already know that most gas fireplaces
do not have remotes. We, however, didn't know this, for the only gas
fireplaces we've had any experience with have all had remotes, and when
the message finally got back to us a week later that the fireplace had
no remote, we were upset.
Big problem, right?
and I get it. Not being able to turn on a gas fireplace is nothing
compared to the trouble you are facing at this very moment. Who cares
about fireplaces when you or a loved one has just received a bad
diagnosis? The remote becomes pretty unimportant in the face of
homelessness. Unfortunately there aren't any remotes for cancer or heart
problems. There isn't a "button" you can push to alleviate relationship
problems and rebellion. And nope. No quick fixes for world hunger and
poverty, persecution and natural disasters either...
then that there must be a different way to turn on the fireplace; and so
we searched for over a week, trying everything we could think of to make
that fireplace come on. It was to no avail. Despite our every effort,
the only flame in the firebox was the pilot light. Shouldn't there be a
In much the same way, we seek solutions to our
real problems. We seek counselling. We look for a second job. We read
how-to manuals. We go online and search out the newest and latest home
remedies for whatever illness that we or our loved ones have been
diagnosed with. We may even go so far as to give to the many agencies
who feel the hungry in the world. And all of these things are good
things to do, and our efforts may actually have some small positive
response. No matter how hard we try, however, the problem does not go
away entirely. If only there were some simple solution!
after our move, our son from Waterloo came home for Easter. He is our
local "go to" for technical problems, and immediately he had the
fireplace working. We were amazed, and the obvious question was
immediately forthcoming: "What did you do?" We were expecting a long and
complicated response, something along the lines of pushing this button
while turning this other one; so we were both amazed when he said, "I
flipped the switch!" Sure enough, there was what appeared to be a light
switch in the controls part of the fireplace, and one flick of a finger
was all it took...
To say we felt a bit "dumb" was an
understatement; however it all made me think: What if there were a
simple "switch" that we could turn on to resolve all of the true
problems in the world?
Of course, there isn't. But there is
something just as simple that we can do: We can pray. The Bible
teaches: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for
each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person
is powerful and effective." (James 5:16 NIV). If you know Jesus
Christ your Lord and Saviour, you have the breastplate of His
righteousness at your disposal (See
All you need to do is don His righteousness--accept it as your own--and
your prayers become "powerful and effective".
James also teaches
that we don't have because we don't ask: "You do not have because
you do not ask God." (James 4:2 NIV). Jesus tells us something
similar: "...how much more will your Father in heaven give good
gifts to those who ask?" (Matthew 7:11 NIV)
But wait. Maybe
you are praying but your prayers aren't being answered. Here are some
other "switches" that you can flip:
1. Don't forget the first
We need to pray with a clean heart. We need to confess our sin.
2. We need to ensure that we are asking with right motives: "When
you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that
you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (James 4:3 NIV)
3. We must ask in faith, without doubt: "But when you ask, you
must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of
the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." (James 1:6 NIV)
We must also consider that perhaps our timing isn't the same as God's
timing. Can we simply believe that His timing is perfect? Remember:
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than
your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)
Whatever burden you are having to bear at the moment, don't seek
solutions on your own. Instead, humble yourself before the Lord and ask.
And don't forget to confess your sin; ensure you are asking with the
right motives; ask in faith, ever believing even when you don't see
results; and understand that it is God's timing, not yours.
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
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