Fire In My Bones

Every so often I am ready to quit writing. My inner dialogue goes something like this: “No one will notice if you stop writing, I am making no money, it’s lonely sitting at my desk day after day, I want regular hours at a regular job, am I doing what I’m meant to be doing, whose idea was it to do this writing gig anyway, and seriously, who do you think you are?” And on and on it goes. If I chose to listen to that doubting, fearful critic, I become side-tracked and off balance for a few days and like a rodent let lose in my mind it gnaws at my confidence, belief, and determination of what I’ve been called to do is the right thing I have been called to do. But here’s the kicker, when I decide I’m done with writing, I get worn out trying to contain and suppress what’s burning in my heart because the words are like a fire in my bones. So, I sit my butt back in the chair at my desk and write.

What about you dear friend? Are you struggling with doubt and allowing that inner critic to gnaw away at your confidence and have the last say on your calling? Is there a fire in your bones that the enemy is trying to extinguish so you don’t rise and do what God has asked you to do? Don’t feel like you’re alone in the struggle because even prophets can get a little weary at times.      

Ridicule, hostility, suffering, fatigue, and severe doubt plagued the prophet, Jeremiah. From the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonian exile he was right in the thick of it all, speaking God’s truth with conviction and power. Jeremiah, known as the ‘weeping prophet’ lived what he wrote with such authenticity and raw vulnerability that his writing still inspires and comforts the ones who find they’re in troubled circumstances and the doubts that swirl around in their heads in what God called them to do is worth the struggles and heartache as they continue to keep doing what God has called them to do because it’s like a fire in their bones. 

If you read the book Jeremiah penned, you’ll notice that by chapter 20 we find him lamenting. I mean, seriously he was not at all happy with God because everything God told him to prophesy about was putting him through the crucible of fire, leaving Jeremiah questioning his role as a prophet to the nations. Everything he believed in, everything he lived by was being uprooted, stamped out, and upended by God. 

Jeremiah has had enough of feeling the loneliness of his calling and so he writes in the poetic, creative form a lament to God of how he’s feeling. ‘O Eternal, You deceived me into being Your prophet, and I went along and allowed it to happen! Your strength is too much for me, and so You win; I speak Your words. Just look at what I have become: a laughing stock.’ [Jeremiah 20:7] The inner conflict of this prophet is painful to read as he goes through the fires of his trail. 

However, as you read through the poetic prose of Jeremiah’s complaint, he suddenly finds something has ignited within him once again. ‘But when I tell myself, I’ll never mention Your name or speak for You again, it’s no use. The word of God burns in my heart; it is like fire in my bones. I try to hold it all in, but I cannot.’ [Jeremiah 20: 9] What shifted in his thinking? 

Perhaps his mind went back to when God first called him? ‘Before you drew your first breath, I had already chosen you to be My prophet to speak My word to the nations.’ [Jeremiah 1:5] Already chosen you. It’s worth repeating, God chose you. Just let those words sink into your soul for a moment. 

When we’re under fire with the testing of our faith, it is God who refines and shapes us so we can rise into the challenges of our calling. ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything as the half-brother of Jesus points out [James 1:2-4]. If you have a fire in your bones and you’re being tested by the trails that come along with your calling, recognise that you must be heading in the right direction otherwise you’d get left alone. This is why James is saying to consider it pure joy! 

Believe me, there is a fire in your bones dear friend, one that the enemy will do his best to snuff out with the inner critic gnawing away at your doubts and questions as to whether God chose you to do what He needs you to do. The enemy will keep on reminding you that you’re not the brightest paint pot in the shed, or the most influential, or the greatest at what you’re doing, he’ll keep telling you that you’re a nobody, you’re wasting your time and you’ve got it all wrong. For me, it’s writing. What is it for you? The enemy knows that the written word is so powerful that words can echo through the corridors of time and speak life into others long after the author has left this world. 

So, like the prophet, Jeremiah keeps going, keeps moving into your calling, and rekindles that fire in your bones until it’s like a raging furnace. And to make sure you know that you know God had indeed chosen you, I will leave you with the powerful words of the Apostle Paul.

 ‘For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.’ [1 Corinthians 1:26-29] 

Stop listening to your inner critic and say to it, ‘God has chosen me and my calling is like a fire in my bones!’

Wendy xo 

Where do you struggle with what God has called you to do?

I pray that today you will be reminded that God chose you and He does not make mistakes! Amen. 

Author

Wendy Parker

Comments (2)

  1. Christine E O'Malley
    February 26, 2024

    I’m late in finding this blog, the notification of a new post down at the bottom of a seemingly endless e-mail inbox…
    There were thousands, and then there were only hundreds, as I ruthlessly deleted those that I couldn’t find the energy to read, and skimmed the few that I could. But I saved every one of yours, knowing that when the brain fog lifted, your words would be both inspirational and challenging. I often pray for you, I’ve scribbled notes in my journal, and I continue to look forward to seeing what you have to say as you are faithfully writing. )I(

    • Wendy Parker
      March 3, 2024

      Oh, thank you so much for praying for me, Christine. Be blessed! x

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