by James Merritt

When the Heat's on, Enjoy the Fire
James Merritt
James 1:2-4


1. I read one of the most interesting descriptions of an experience that every person, by necessity, has had in the history of the human race, and I want you to see if you can find yourself in this description.

Your world is dark, safe, secure. You are bathed in warm liquid, cushioned from shock. You do nothing for yourself; you are fed automatically, and a murmuring heartbeat assures you that someone larger than you feels all your needs. Your life consists of simple waiting--you're not sure what to wait for, but any change seems far away and scary. You meet no sharp objects, no pain, no threatening adventures. A fine existence.

One day you feel a tug, the walls are falling in on you. Those soft cushions are now
pulsing and beating against you, crushing you downwards. Your body is bent double, your limbs twisted and wrenched. You're falling, upside down. For the first time in your life, you feel pain. You are in a sea of roiling matter. There is more pressure, almost too
intense to bear. Your head is squeezed flat, and you are pushed harder, harder into a dark tunnel. Oh, the pain. Noise. More pressure. You hurt all over. You hear a groaning sound, and an awful, sudden fear rushes in on you. It is happening--your world is collapsing. You're sure it's the end. You see a piercing blinding light. Cold, rough hands
pull at you. A painful slap. Waaaahhh!

Congratulations! You've just been born.[1]

2. Your birth was filled with trials. You went through a trial coming into this world; your mother went through a trial bringing you into this world; and your father went through a trial paying for it.

3. Now I say that to illustrate a truth. From the time you are born, to the time you die, you walk in a world whose highways are littered with the potholes of troubles, trials, tragedies, and tribulations.

4. As a matter of fact, there are only three kinds of people in the wo ...

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