Breaking through the silence of the wee hours of the morning, came the scream “fire!”.
I jumped off my bed, wondering if the sound emerged from dream or reality. I ran to my window, looked out and behold, there was fire. Right in my neighbour’s compound.
Flying down the stairs followed by other occupants of the house, we rushed to the gate. Other neighbours trooped out as well.
Foamy water, extinguisher, calls to the fire service team, everyone lent hand and head to ensure the fire went off.
Before long, we put it out. The fire extinguishers didn’t even meet the fire.
We didn’t lie on our beds sleeping away if not our story will be like that of the Chicago fire. Fire from a candle that razed down a city.
Girl, wake up and see… There’s a fire in the house!
And before long, it creeps into your house and razes everything down…
I know you feel you have enough fire burning around you already: pain, poverty, struggles, shame, the hurt of abuse, unfulfilled longings, confusions, depression, sickness. We’re going to put that fire out as we lift our voices and wail together.
But that heat is caused by a fire burning outside.
That was the case with the people of Israelite in the days of Jeremiah. God had promised them great blessings, but they begged and were battered.
Why? Jeremiah 5:25 tells us – your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, lamented the despicable state of God’s people. And in chapter 9:17-22, he made a call – a call for wailing women
17 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come:18 And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we spoiled! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out.20 Yet hear the word of the Lord, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbour lamentation.21 For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.
We’re talking about wailing, but if you don’t jump off your bed and look through your window, you’ll be oblivious of the flames of that fire.
Girl, wake up to our current condition – our land is on fire, our churches are on fire, our culture is on fire, our homes are on fire.
Incest, rape, homosexuality, abortion, Prozac, sexually transmitted diseases, depression, suicide, divorce. These words make the news and social media headline, but words like purity, modesty, discretion, virtue, responsibility, integrity have been swept under the carpet.
It’s time to wail, sisters.
Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. (Isaiah 32:9)
We’ve done enough wailing with words and tears. Let’s wail to the God who has the fire extinguisher in His hands. time.
Mordecai said these words to Esther when she wanted to shy away from the “fire”: Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:13-14).
You are in the kingdom for such a time as this!
So, as we prepare our hearts for this great wail, look out your window and see the need. Write them down.
And this week, lift up your voice to God, like Jeremiah, and pray : Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! (Jeremiah 1:9)
May God set our hearts on fire, and fill your eyes with tears, and that our wails will release His hands upon the land.