Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When the fire comes!

Fire is seen on the top of the mountain. There is smoke everywhere. Ash covered our van and the air—even 20 miles from the fire is filled with uncomfortable smells and debris. As we drove by the homes of people who are just yards away from the fire line, some of them are standing outside with water hoses. They are trying to do what they can do to keep what they have. From the TV coverage, one woman said, “They say take out what is important and move away. What? It is ALL important to me!”

Another couple returns to their home. It is the only one left in the community. ALL the houses on their street are in ashes. Nothing of theirs is even hurt. When they saw what their neighbors had lost, they feel they could not return…not when all the rest lost so much.

What would you carry out of a house that will be burnt down?
What is important to you?

While talking with the manager of our apartment complex yesterday, he asked the same question of me. He had seen us move in with eight suitcases. Friends of one of our supporting churches brought in the things in the apartment. Beds, dishes, linen, lamps. The manager and myself agree. Those are only things. There are more important things to be concerned with in life. Ready the heart for His Return. Open the heart to His love. Receive the forgiveness only He can give.

Not that those in the way of the fire were wrong, mind you. When it comes to push and shove, I’d be hard pressed what to carry out. I guess my MacBook because on it are so many photos of friends and many memories. Important documents. Contact information of friends. I would take my Bible. Maybe a shirt I just bought. I would be sure my children and my wife were safe. Then I would drive away and look back only once—not in the wife of Lot sort of way, but to see how close the flames were.

How about you? When the fire comes, what will you do?

We are told to look up and see Him as He really is. That should scare some! It did for John when he saw Jesus—his close friend—as he wrote the last book of the Bible (Revelation 1:17). There is a change in life we may not be ready for. I would suggest we get ready. It starts with a personal relationship with God’s Son. Read about it in John 3:16, Romans 3:10-18, Romans 4:24-25, (well, in fact, Romans 6-9.) We are asked to submit ourselves to God and allow the Maker of our souls and giver of our life to take control.

Because the fires in our lives are way out of control. He is the only one who can put the fire out. (Some of the firemen near this fire tell us they have seen flames over 100 feet high!) Once that fire burns out, many many acres of mountain brush and pines will be no more. Some will loose their homes. Some may loose their own lives. Two have already died. Is it too late to make preparations for the fires of life? No. Is there a way to keep us from being destroyed? Yes. Go to Jesus.