Bring it to God and the smoke will clear.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire! How to Deal with the Burn.

The Smoke:

The smoke can easily be correlated as “red flags” we may see with our friends or loved ones.  It’s always wise to trust your instincts because often times it’s the Holy Spirit stirring about, but don’t automatically jump to conclusions. Sometimes we may see red flags with friends or loved ones because our emotions are out of whack or we’re having a bad day.  As well, it could be the enemy deceiving you.  That’s why it’s important to test about these red flags by bringing them to God.

For example: Lily has been noticing her friend June has been rather distant lately.  She’s bailed twice on their usual get-together days and Lily has also noticed that June has acquired a few new friends on a social media website.  The smoke or red flag is the distance.  Instead of Lily automatically assuming the fire is that she’s been replaced by new friends, she takes it to God.  Because Lily didn't jump to conclusions, God made Lily remember a comment she made to June that unknowingly hurt her feelings a month back.  God helped Lily decipher the smoke and where it stemmed from.

As well, the smoke or red flag for Tessa was when she came home from a long day of work.  She got comfortable and plopped down on the couch with her laptop.  As she goes to type something in the search bar, she notices that the drop bar opens with inappropriate searches.  Her automatic conclusion is that it has to be her husband Kenny doing these searches.  She’s livid, hurt and upset all in one.  As bad as she wants to confront her husband, she does the wise thing and brings the smoke to God.  The answer doesn't come as quickly as Tessa would like but about a week later her husband brings up the inappropriate searches, asking if it was her.  Because Tessa brought it to God before jumping to conclusions, she was to discover that the source of the smoke stemmed from a malicious virus on their computer.

The Fire:

Sometimes people don’t have any smoke to potentially warn them of certain things, the fire just catches.  Just how smoke can be correlated with a red flag, fire can be correlated as the act.  That means witnessing a friend or loved one in an act that affects you.  It can be something little or something so grave and no matter the size it still makes an impact.  When seeing the fire – this is easier said than done – it’s important we don’t react because more than not, we let our emotions rule over us when something affects us and riled up emotions cannot be trusted.  It’s advised to collect yourself and pray to God about how to put out the fire.

For example: Miriam is studying for her final exams in her apartment when she gets a call from her roommate, Joanne. Miriam answers but she falls silent when she hears Joanne talking to someone and Joanne’s talking about a personal issue Miriam told her in confidence.  Miriam listens to Joanne say hurtful things and eventually hangs up.  As much as her emotions want her to call Joanne and be just as hurtful, she knows it’s not best.  Miriam waits until she’s cooled down and can think clearly, eventually discussing the incident with Joanne.

The fire for Johnny was when he caught his fiance  Ally, kissing another man outside of her work.  Johnny was coming by to surprise his fiance with an impromptu dinner and seeing the fire made him lose his appetite. However, his emotions were running rampant and his emotions were encouraging him to still to take Ally out on that impromptu dinner and confront her there in hopes of humiliating her.  But, instead of acting on his impulses, he heads home where he prays to God about how to put out the fire.  Eventually he’s able to think clearly and when Ally comes home, he can confront her in a calm manner.

Dealing with the Burn

Even though Miriam and Johnny were able to put the fire out with the guidance from God, the two of them still got burned.  Sadly, when the smoke clears and the fire is put out, the burn still takes quite a while to heal. The way to heal is to let go of the fire and move on with the guidance from God.  The enemy will do his best to keep you in the past but what good is it? The fire is put out, the act is done with.  The only way now is to move forward.

For example: Miriam had a discussion with Joanne.  At first Joanne denied it but when Miriam showed her proof of the fire that took place, Joanne confessed to starting it and told Miriam the reason why.  Joanne felt suffocated by Miriam’s constant personal issues and felt that the friendship was one sided, so when she had the opportunity to vent, she did it but took it too far.  Joanne apologizes and lets Miriam know that she should have told her the truth and not go gossiping behind her back.  Of course, Miriam is hurt and doesn’t know if she can trust Joanne. She prays about it and eventually starts repairing her friendship with Joanne, believing she deserves a second chance.

As for Johnny, he confronts Ally and unlike Joanne, she admits to having an affair.  She’s open with Johnny, letting him know it’s been going on for half a year.  When Johnny asks why, all Ally can tell him is that she thought she wanted to settle down but doesn't want to just yet.  She wants to test different waters and Johnny isn't the one.  It’s no surprise that Johnny is wounded and together Ally and Johnny call off the wedding and break up.  It pains Johnny to hear that Ally has moved on so quickly, but he focuses on the future and trusts as much as he can in God’s plan. As he knows, God sometimes closes doors to open up better ones.

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