I've been thinking about pilot lights…

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another…
Colossians 3:12-13 (ESV)

If you are not familiar with pilot lights, here is a brief explanation: a pilot light is a small gas flame, usually for natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas, which serves as an ignition source for a more powerful gas burner.

When I was growing up in Iowa my mom and dad dealt with pilot lights. We had a gas stove and a furnace with pilot lights that would occasionally go out—unfortunately on some very cold winter nights. When pilot lights died, my parents would dramatically strike a match to restart the flame—how fascinating!

Today it is common to light a burner electronically so pilot lights are not a familiar sight in most homes, but it is interesting to note they are still used today when a high energy ignition source is necessary

Unquestionably, God is my ultimate resource and He provides the gas that fuels me, but there are times my pilot light needs attention. Sometimes it flames out due to drafts from unprocessed grief or devastating loss—or when a dream has died—or when hope is languishing. During these difficult circumstances God has used His Word, the promptings of the Holy Spirit and also very frequently the kindness of others to strike a match for me!

Recently, I met with a woman who struggles with debilitating anxiety. When I realized how sincerely she was asking for help, I was moved to ask her to share her view of Jesus—how He touched her inner life—how He related to her. She shared a beautiful picture of His presence and His clear invitation to come closer to Him in her walk of faith. She was then able to amplify and cement her vision, so she could more clearly focus on it during times of high anxiety. In other words, I became a high energy ignition source of restoration and redemption—I struck a match for her!

When vision is conceptualized—and a godly course of action is sustained by God’s supply of resources—a life is forever changed. This is why I always carry extra matches! Fascinating!