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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

Fire and Chains

I am driving home on a 34 degree blistering hot afternoon yesterday after being in Gr. Prairie all day and I come to a stretch on the highway that looks towards our house and I see the smoking rising from the hill by our house (above picture). I have received a call from a friend who lives sort of on the other side of the hill from us and she said, “it looks like a forest fire could be close to your house, I am watching it from the front window.” Oh my….not again.

I think to myself when I see the above picture, “that looks close.”

I call another neighbor to see if she has heard about it, she has not so I promise to keep her in the loop.

I called Brian who had just got home ahead of me and he said, “oh ya, when you turn onto our road, you won’t miss it.”  Great!

I decide to skip our road and go a bit further to a place where I can see the whole “plateau” of where we live in relation to the fire. I am relieved to see that the fire is not at all by us and over to the right more.

I snapped a couple pictures and a video and was just heading home when this pick up truck comes driving along. I had to laugh, it was Brian and the dogs scoping out the fire just like me.

“Great minds think alike,” I said. I hopped on board with him and we took off trying to get a handle on just where this fire was. We had quite the adventure as we were able to drive sort of around half of it but we had to go around our “plateau” to the other side. It was a great adventure, taking us to areas we had not found before.

We met an oilfield consultant out and about doing the same as we were, trying to figure out how close this fire was. There is apparently no road access to the fire, so helicopters and water bombers are on it.

I realized that perception again is everything. Turning onto our road or even looking at the fire from my driveway makes it appear that the fire was “right there.” Yet it was 20 kms or more away and I am a thankful woman.

The other day before the “heat wave” I was cutting the grass, the overgrowth of plants in front of our little garden box was over a foot high in some places and I came across these chains buried under the growth.

These are semi-truck chains that we had brought home for a project that did not quite happen. Truck chains are no light weights and I cannot even hope to pick them up, I have tried. I mowed around them and thought to myself, “I cannot lift these chains, who can I get to lift these chains off for me?”  (I think you might be able to see where this is heading…)

I could not see the chains at first hidden in the grass, but they were there. Had I hit them with the lawnmower, the blades would have been toast. I could not lift the chains. I could not kick or move the chains. I was helpless to do anything with the chains.

Chains represent the things that weigh us down, that trap us, that bind us to something, usually something not good. Chains cannot be manually broken with your hands, it takes great strength to break a chain, you cannot will a chain to break.

Why then do we think that if we simply try a little harder, do a little more, wait a little longer that we can break the chains that hold “us” down? We berate ourselves how weak we are because we cannot break ourselves out of our bondage. If in the physical realm we cannot break a chain with our hands and willpower, what makes us think in the spiritual we could do it there?

Things like: eating and our weight, shopping, phones, facebook and social media, alcohol, drugs, our mouths that speak when they shouldn’t, people, lack of or too much exercise, all addictions and behaviours. In reality, you can no more “control” those things than you can break a chain with your hands.

This is why AA – alcoholics anonymous and NA- narcotics anonymous, Alanon, Mustard Seed, Celebrate Recovery, Freedom Session and many successful programs involve bringing a higher power into the mix, something we can turn to who actually has the ability to actually break chains. The chain breaker.

When we try to stop ourselves from our habits, we often end up doing it more and we keep trying, over and over again. It is like hitting the chains with the lawnmower and the blades break off or get dull and eventually the whole machine stops working and in our case that is often the result as well.

Perception here is that we often think we are stronger than we are, that we, you and me, hold the power to simply break the chains off of ourselves. Reality is that just like the fire looking like it was “right here” it is really far away, in the chain breaking case, we really believe we can do it on our own instead of asking for help.

In each of these cases we need help. At this time, we are dependent on the water bombers and helicopters to put out that fire, I cannot do it.

In the case of behaviors in myself that I wish to stop, I cannot do it myself, I need help, just like the chains laying on the ground that I cannot pick up, I need someone else who has the strength to help me.

How many times have I told myself and perhaps others, “I can do it myself, I do not need help”, for how many years have I said it? My old chains have been laying in that exact spot on the ground for months right beside the sandbags which have been there for over a year. We had good intentions to use both, the idea was there, the materials for the projects were there, but we did not get to them and there they sit, stuck in their same location.

Are you stuck somewhere in your life? Are you feeling like there is an area that just “sits there” and you cannot move it or lift it off of you no matter how hard you try? You might need a chain breaker.

I happen to know one… His name is Jesus and He has the ability to break chains, to lift chains, to move chains and all that stubborn stuff we cannot seem to move in our life. I mean this guy has a pretty impressive track record…give Him a try, call on Him today, I promise He will show up. Will it be instant and miraculous? Possibly. More than likely it will be a walk with Jesus that shows up day after day, month after month, this is often how He works. Your job is to keep walking with Him and trusting Him to daily lift the chains.



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