The oldest underground fire in the world is within “Burning Mountain” a hill near New South Wales, Australia; it is estimated to be six-thousand-years old. Incredibly, “coal seam fires” are actually quite common, along with other subsurface fires. Hatred operates much like an underground fire and can last a lifetime. Sometimes it is fiery flame that all can see, but mostly it smolders just underneath the surface. Hatred is an insidious, destructive and dangerous intruder in the heart of a lover of God. I have both hated and been hated; it is evil and a game of fools. While avoiding the hatred of others is nearly impossible, as believers, we can be free from its internal harm or lasting effects through God’s forgiveness and mercy. Lord, purge my heart of hidden hatred and snuff out every ember.
John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come” is an allegory written while he was imprisoned for his Christian beliefs. Until we reach the Golden Gates of Heaven we must progress in our walk of faith here on earth. Each time I think I understand God’s ways and means He turns the diamond and new facets of His splendor emerge. For the true believer there is no spiking the ball in the end zone on this side of Glory; there is no settling down where we are in this life. Not only am I tolerant of this constantly changing status, I am genuinely thankful for it. I am being pulled toward eternal purpose that I cannot fathom but I instinctively know awaits me. So I’ll keep my shoes on until it’s over. Lord, though I struggle in Your arms, You never let me go. Keep me moving toward Your perfect will. Help me never miss a turn or stop unnecessarily. Keep me progressing toward Your perfect will.