Posted by: Heather | July 23, 2011

All Choked Up



Luke 8:14  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked out with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

Summer…wow, what a busy time!  As a homeschooling mom, I always have this vision of a restful, lazy summer where my children are perfectly content being at home 24/7.  In reality though, summer usually ends up being as busy, if not more so, than the rest of my year.  It was at one of our recent activities that the idea for this blog came to be.  It was a message I truly needed to be reminded of.

A few weeks ago, we were invited to the home of a friend.  Her family was hosting a gathering with a bonfire, and I attended with several of our children.  We had recently cleaned out our attic, where I found several boxes of old paperwork that we no longer needed.   Since we‘re unable to burn things on our property, and there was too much to consider shredding, I asked her if I could bring my paperwork to burn there, and she agreed.  So I showed up with the most ridiculous looking load of paper they ever saw.  We had some good laughs over it as we chatted with everyone around the fire.

After attempting to burn my items a few at a time for quite awhile, they brought me their burning barrel so I could complete my job more quickly.   We started a fire in the barrel, and began to feed it with paper.  It quickly burned as I added more and more fuel.   After awhile, I noticed a phenomenon that interested me.   As the wife of a firefighter it wasn’t a new concept, but God used it to remind me of something very important.   Occasionally in my zeal to complete the job, I would add too much paper at once.   No matter how hot or large the fire had become, it was quickly smothered when too much paper was added.  Underneath the pile, the embers would smolder, but the paper was no longer being consumed quickly as it had been before.   In my haste to finish burning the entire pile, I had actually brought any progress to a screeching halt.

Using the large stick I had to stir the ashes with, I lifted the piles of paper to create air holes.  When fresh air hit the embers, the blaze immediately began again, destroying the piles of paper that had originally snuffed out the flame.  It took time and stirring of the fire to destroy the paper to the point it was sufficiently burned, but as long as there were some air holes, the blaze continued to burn brightly.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I’m a busy lady.  Juggling the schedules of my husband and our 5 children, plus being a full-time caregiver for my mother-in-law puts more on my plate than I feel capable of dealing with sometimes.   It’s too easy to let everything else get in the way of that which is most precious…spending time with the LORD.    Circumstances of life will continue to pile care after care on top of us until the spiritual fire that should be burning brightly comes to a smoldering halt.  Smoldering embers can still burn paper, but with no intensity, causing it to take far too much time and energy.

When we begin to feel smothered by the weight of our circumstances, we must begin to open up some ‘air holes’ in our spiritual life with time and effort in communication with the LORD.    Regular time in prayer and study will re-ignite the fire that once burned brightly, breaking the yoke of the cares we’ve been buried under.

The Holy Spirit is often represented in the Bible as fire.  Fire has the ability to cleanse and purify those things that are able to withstand the heat.  We go through the fiery trials to purify us, not to bring harm.  The lyrics of a song that is currently popular on the Christian charts says it well…’He knows this is going to make you stronger’.   All too often, we try to push the work of the Holy Spirit aside in our lives, because the pain seems too great, and the trial too hard.

As we allow the Holy Spirit to do His purifying work in us, our spiritual fire will begin to burn more brightly, which in turn makes our trials more bearable.  Not easy, but bearable.    When the fire of God’s Spirit is cut down to embers by our circumstances, the enemy can keep us from God’s ultimate goal for our lives.    It’s just not worth it to be all choked up…


© Copyright Notice: Permission is hereby granted to make copies as long as Promised Land Ministries is properly cited and credited as the author.



  1. Purification is VERY hard – but SOOOO worth it. The less we have of our junk, the more usable we are…for good!

    I find that the closer I get to Abba, the more purified I become. At the same time, the more purified I become, the easier it is to get closer to Him. Although, it also means the more aware I am of my own shortcomings. At least, I sure hope I am more aware. 🙂

    • Amen to that, Abigail! I see more and more of my faults every day. And, thanks for the share. 🙂

  2. I had a response to write out here. But simply, THANK YOU.

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