And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. Jos. 8:20 KJV
Where there is smoke there is usually fire. The men of Ai knew this. But by the time they saw the smoke it was already too late. They were trapped, brought low by their own arrogance.
Sometimes we miss the smoke signals in our lives just like the men of Ai did. Anything in life can block out our vision and make us blind to the thin rising tendrils of black death on our horizon: pride, foolishness, co-dependence, denial, overcommitment and the list goes on.
At any rate, we can deny the smoke only so long and then pieces of our lives just burn away and we experience loss. I’ve been there. I’ll bet you’ve probably been to the place of smoke and burning fire too. So often the first questions we ask after the smoke clears are “How did this happen? Who’s to blame?” Maybe these questions are important to answer at some point; But I have learned the far more important questions to ask are “How do I let God in to change me so I don’t miss the smoke signals again? What blindness do I need to repent of so that what is rebuilt is not burned down again?”
If you are in a place of rebuilding let me assure you if you include God what you rebuild will be even stronger than before. Just don’t forget the next time you smell smoke don’t hesitate to put out the fire.
Let this song be your prayer today!