Never underestimate the power of ashes.
Although that is what I want, I can't force God on them. My mom illustrated it this way:
God is like a fire; He's the hottest fire there could possibly be: blue or whatever color is the hottest. There are logs in that fire. We are those logs. As the fire reaches out to the logs, what happens? They spark and start to burn. [That is the Holy Spirit in us.] When we are lit, we have the opportunity to light other logs on fire. We don't want them to roll away or they'll get cold. You don't even have to say a word about the fire [Christ] and other people will see that light in you, which will make them shine, in essence.I know this isn't exactly what she said, but this is the jist of the message she was trying to make. When she was saying all of this, I was thinking to myself, "This is such a cliche. Why am I hearing this imagery for the obtillionth [really big number] time?"
But then my mind wandered to a time when I was burning garbage in the backyard. There was a lot of garbage collected in our house at the time (cardboard boxes and whatnot), so I had to take multiple trips. I took the first trip out to the barrel, burnt it, and walked back into the house to get the rest. When I got back out to the barrel, I was too late to just throw the second trip of garbage into the barrel because the flame had gone out. I threw a little in to get another flame started, but when I was just about to turn to click the lighter, clicks started to sound off in the barrel and the next thing I know, the fire is started up again. The ashes were hot enough that they could start the fire up all over again!
Those ashes reminded me that there is always hope when everything looks gloomy. Those ashes, although they looked dead, still had the heat to start up that fire. God is always there to start up the fire in us whether it feels hopeless or not. The Holy Spirit is in us as soon as we declare that Jesus is Lord, and it's burning in us for that relationship with Him.
Today's (well, yesterday's, if you want to be technical...) daily Bible verse: "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit" (1 John 4:12-13). I couldn't have summed it up better myself. It continues to affirm the fact that actions speak louder than words.