I got burnt this week.
I was making a birthday cake and had a number of cakes in the oven simultaneously. Some of the cakes were smaller than others and so needed to be removed sooner than others. With my oven gloves on I gingerly reached into the oven to extract the small cakes without disturbing the larger one for risk of it sinking.
I had to reach right to the back of the oven but the gloves only went so far up my arm. Without realising how close I was to danger I grazed the sides of the shelves and now have two very straight, train track burn lines on my arm.
I got burnt because I was not fully protected.
I've been burnt this week not once, but twice. Except the second burn wasn't to my skin, it was to my heart. I allowed the opinions and judgement of others to burn my soul. I paid attention to man's voice over and above what Jesus has to say about me.
You see, we need to protect our hearts and souls from words, opinions, and thoughts that might burn us. How do we do this? We immerse our hearts in the truth of who God says we are in Him so that when we come close to red-hot situations with maybe well-intentioned but broken people, God's truth buffers and protects us from the fiery arrows that the devil would so readily send through them to scar us.
We are to "put on every piece of God's armor" so we can be protected against the enemy's strategies to hurt us. It is with the shield of faith that we "stop the fiery arrows" from achieving the purpose for which Satan sends them (Ephesians 6:13,16 NLT). Because while we have a very real enemy who will use whatever means possible to burn us and cause us great pain, we also have a God whose Word will accomplish all He purposes it for (Isaiah 55:11) in our lives if we give it suitable soil to take root (Matthew 13:21).
Just as we need oven gloves to deal with the heat of an oven, so too do we need the Word of God to deal with the heat of this world, the heat of others' words, the heat of disappointment and betrayal, the heat of challenge and pain. . .
Friend, God is still sending out His Word to heal us (Psalm 107:20), so let's make time today to receive His truth and wear it like oven gloves to bolster our faith and protect us when those hot arrows fly our way.