While camping a few years ago, a friend excitedly told me how she went on a retreat and learned to walk on coals. She said it was just mind over matter, just focus on something ahead of you – a goal – and you wouldn’t feel the coals or get burned. You also needed to walk quickly and confidently. Sounded a little wacky but I was pretty sure she hadn’t made it up. I tried the theory later that day by walking barefoot across the rocky road in the campground by looking straight ahead and focusing on where I was going and not on the stones digging into the bottoms of my tender feet. It worked!
Life should be approached in the same way. While most of us will never have the desire to walk on coals, we can none the less learn something from those who do. We need to focus on our goal. Not just any goal but the most important goal – Heaven. If we keep our eyes focused on Heaven and our eventual home there, the stones and coals, the hardships and pains of this life will become less painful. We will be able to walk through those hardships and pains and not feel their sting because we have our eyes focused on our goal – eternal life with our Father in Heaven. We just have to be careful not to get distracted or look away, because then we will get burned and hurt.
We might even say that Satan is trying to distract us from Heaven by throwing those hot coals down in our path. Each one of us will have different “hot coals” thrown in our path, because Satan knows our weaknesses well. However, with our eternal perspective – our goal – as our ultimate gain, Satan has little power over us, and his “hot coals” will go unnoticed and we will remain unscathed. Such is the goodness of our Father!