Do you collect anything? I used to collect Cherished Teddies. They are made by the same company that makes Precious Moments. They have the same idea as Precious Moments, except they are teddy bears instead of children. I was quite an avid collector. The bears were displayed everywhere in the small home I lived in. I had a collectors book listing all the figurines I had. I was careful to keep their boxes and name tags together along with any papers they came with. I even earned special points and was able to cash them in for members only pieces. Of course that was B.C. – before children.
I’ve gotten rid of most of them since then. There are a few favorites that have ventured the last couple decades with me. One of them being Liberty, a teddy bear figurine that looks like the Statue of Liberty. I’m not sure if she appealed to the patriotic side of me but for some reason I’ve always loved this one. She sits on my kitchen window sill right by our sink. Her flame was broken off a few years ago. All that was left was a chip of a flame. Thankfully I saved the rest of it so it could be repaired. A few days ago my husband glued the flame back on for me. I was so happy she was fixed. Then yesterday I accidentally knocked her down. Not only did her flame break clean off this time but part of her crown broke too. I was so bummed but I’m confident my husband can fix her as good as new again.
As I thought about my Liberty bear I was reminded that through Christ the Lord has clothed us in a beautiful robe of freedom. We are free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 6:18, 8:2) It rules over us no more. When we are saved we are made co-heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:17) We are now His children. His sons and daughters. Princes and princesses. The crown represents a physical reminder that we are His. He puts the fire of the Holy Spirit in us and tells us to hold the light out for all the world to see. That we may be a beacon lighting the way for others to freedom.
As daily life comes and goes and the storms of life strike, our flame can fizzle to a flicker. Just like my little bear whose flame was broke off with only a chip remaining.
Distractions come and we forget to fan into flame our love for the Lord, our passion for His Word and our zeal to do what He’s called us to do. Busyness and the worries of life are two of the most common distractions for us. (Mark 4:19)
One of things that wears my flame down is a struggle I’ve had for years but only recently admitted to. That’s my battle with depression. In the past it has been much worse but slowly I see healing and restoration. Yet I still struggle from time to time. It has been suspected that I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Winters can be hard on me. I notice it especially when I go awhile without being around others. As a stay-at-home mom it’s easy for me to do without realizing it. I’m not a fan of the cold and would rather stay inside til it warms up but I can’t realistically do that in a climate where the temperature may not reach 40 for three months. I have to force myself to go outside. This isolation causes me to get blue because we need other people in our lives. The battle takes its toll on me causing my flame to not shine as brightly.
Yet, just like that bear I’ve always been clothed in robes of freedom and crowned with victory. I need to fan into flame my fire. (II Timothy 1:6) Just about the time we rekindle our fire our prowling enemy knocks us down again, not only knocking out our fire but trying to take our crown too. Oh, the devil can’t take our standing with Christ but he’ll sure try to make you think you are unworthy, unloved and anything less than who God says you are. That’s why we need to know our true identity in Christ. We need to know what the Word says about us. Don’t forget that you are wearing a crown because you belong to the Lord. The devil can’t take our standing as a child of God but he’ll try to make you doubt who you are.
It’s ironic to think that it’s easy to lose our focus on Christ at Christmas time. There are so many distractions, from preparations and programs to food and gifts to cleaning the house and how we are going to handle those awkward relationships. Yet I am guilty of letting those things distract me. I have full confidence, however, that the Lord can restore what’s been broken. Help us fan into flame our fire and shine for Him.
Would you pray this prayer with me?
Oh Lord – Help me focus on You. Keep me in wonder and awe at what a miracle Your birth is. Help me never lose that childlike wonder that You came as a helpless infant for me. What an amazing God You are to willingly step out of Your glorious kingdom into our dark world to save us all. What kind of love is this that You should love us so much to live among us, as one of us, so that one day we could be with You for all eternity. What can I say but thank you.
Fan into flame my fire and passion for You again. Help me never forget I am your daughter. I am yours and I am free. Free from sin, death and fear. You have set me free. Help me to shine Your light, especially in this Christmas season.
In Jesus Name – Amen