My Lantern Ignited a Tree

And then it was 2013.

As the first few minutes of the fresh, new year ticked their celebratory circuits around the clock, my friends and I released a cloud of paper lanterns into the night air.

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They floated solemnly at first, and then with a gust of hasty impatience shot straight up until they were only fairy specks against the obsidian sky.

Except for my lantern.

When I lit it, it tossed it’s papery nose into the air, turned a scornful back on its partners high aloft in the sky,

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and instead did a drunken dance across the yard.

And landed in a tree. Where it proceeded to smoke and burn in the most grotesque fashion, and began to ignite the branches.

To which we responded by pummeling it to the ground with snowballs.

Oh, how ironic.

I actually don’t believe in luck. You already knew that, right? But regardless of the fact, since the dawn of 2013 I have lost my smart phone, towed my car to the garage (to sit there helplessly until my bank account awakens from the dead), been stranded in sub-freezing temperatures, seen my friends deal with cruel and devastating situations, and watched the culminating effects of retinoblastoma in my 7-month-old niece.

At a bad moment, I’d say that 2013 has been pretty long already.

But then my mind wanders back to those pre-2013 moments around the bonfire.

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When I stared into the coals and remembered 2012. That rollercoaster year of challenges, and heart-wounds and wondering what in the world was the purpose for it all. The year of hopes dashed, and fears forged and dissolved, and finding out just how different the spiritual world is from the our tiny little world here on planet earth.

The year I drank the deepest draughts I have ever received from the bottomless well of the Father’s exuberant love for me.

The year I experienced the Holy Spirit’s power in ways far beyond the vision or imagination of man, and sat back time and time again without a word to say that could begin to describe my amazement.

The year I cast the lies of the devil far from me, and danced the dance that only the ones who are truly free can know.

The year I did things way beyond myself.

And as I sat there by that fire, do you know what the pervading thought in my mind was? POWER. Even though 2012 was one of the harder years of my life, the POWER of the Glorious King was clearer to me than ever before. He was unstoppable, beautiful and overflowing with passionate, personal love. And unlike our years, He never changes.

Somehow, I’ve got a feeling that 2013 is gonna be a good year.

But my bull-headed laptop computer declares that today is August 3, 2012. So we’ll have to wait and see.

“Look among the heathen, and regard, and WONDER marvelously! For I will work a work in your days that you will not believe, although it is told you.” Habakuk 1:5

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