Echoes From the Campfire

The recent rain had scented the air with the heavy aroma of grass which cleared the head and made a soul feel good about life.”
               –Mike Stotter  (McKinney’s Law)

     “And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.”
               –Isaiah 4:6 (NKJV)
     My, we’ve had a few really good thunderstorms this week.  I’ve always enjoyed them, well, that is until I see some of the results.  I’ve seen trees blasted by lightning, and I’ve felt the effect of a lightning strike.  I was playing ball; I was pitching and I remember it well.  I had wound up and WHAM!, the next thing I knew I was on the ground, as were the rest of the players.  My hand still clenched the ball and half the lights were out.  We were never sure what happened; lightning either hit the lights or the backstop.  I also don’t care for those storms that bring hail which can be so devastating.  My truck still has dimples like a golf ball from a hail storm.
     But a good old rain–ahhh, the smell afterward is sweet, cleansing.  The grass looks greener and for sure with a little sun it grows faster.  The flowers, after shaking off the wetness from their petals, are more brilliant in hue.  I sometime ponder if God doesn’t do that with our lives.  The storm, then the sweetness following.  When the storm comes we get all stirred up, maybe even fearful, but afterward we relax and wonder why.
     Much of what I’m sharing with you is by F.B. Meyer (another one of my favorites).  He warns about “feeling” or what I referred to above.  We do not follow God with our feelings, if we do we will find that when the storms come we will be in dire straits.  Feelings are fine, but we don’t seek them in serving God nor are we to live by them.  On the other hand don’t worry if you do not “feel” anything in the service of the Lord.
          “The lack of feeling does not always indicate that we are wrong.  It may be that Christ would teach us to distinguish between love and the emotion of love; between joy and the rapture of joy, between peace and the sense of peace.  Or perhaps He may desire to ascertain whether we cling to Him for Himself or for His gifts.”

     I do believe that many serve and praise the Lord for those times of “feeling.”  Come out of a church and a person will ask, “How are you feeling?” or “I felt God today.”  Well, fine and dandy, but the do-dads running up and down your back is not necessarily the Holy Spirit.  Meyer says that to “Seek feeling, and you will miss it.  Be content to live without it, and you will have all you require… . If you are always consulting your feelings, you will live in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”
     The storms of life will come, I can assure you, but wait–afterward there is a “feeling” of newness, of refreshing.  You don’t have to seek for it as it will flow through the air.  Don’t look for it, don’t seek it.  “Be indifferent to emotion.  If it is there, be thankful; if it is absent, go on doing the will of God…”  We do not live by feelings.