Here's a video clip of what a firefighter sees when they are fighting a fire.
Now remember, this was being filmed so the area was brightly lit by artificial light and of course, the firefighters also had light. With that in mind, did you notice how dark it was? This was in a controlled setting. Can you imagine what it would be like in reality?
When I taught second grade, we would have a firefighter come in during Fire Prevention Week. I remember being rather surprised when I first learned that contrary to what you would think, a burning room is not light. It's dark and it is very difficult to see. Children tend to hide when they are afraid. They will crawl under beds or in a closet and the firefighters want them to understand that is the worst thing to do because they won't be able to find them. They want them to understand that they will have a hard time seeing the firefighters and... the firefighters will have a hard time seeing them. They must not hide.
The firefighters would then put on their gear and let the children also hear what it sounded like if the firefighter had on his oxygen mask. They know that if a child can make them out through the smoke, they are often frightened by what they perceive to be a monster. They hear labored, amplified breathing. They see a masked face which can be very frightening. They hear a lot of noise as things come crashing down around them and their senses are overloaded. It is a terrifying situation and it can be deadly.
We may not know what to do in the fire, but the firefighter does. The firefighter has the expertise and training necessary to not only keep themselves safe but to rescue others as well. They are willing to put their lives on the line to save a complete stranger. They don't know if the person is "good" or "bad". They don't think about whether or not the person "deserves" to be saved. They just know that if they do not attempt to rescue the individual, the person will probably perish.
The analogy to our salvation can not be missed but as this is a Christian website, I would like to take it a step further. This does not just apply to the moment of our salvation. It is true now.
In the midst of a "fire" in our lives, whether it is physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or a combination of all of these things, we often cannot see "The Light". We often are not aware of God being in "the room" with us or if we are, He does not "look" like we think He should look.
The fire can be a very dark and scary place. Telling someone whose in it that it isn't or scolding them for being afraid is not helpful. In fact, to be quite honest with you, it's downright cruel. Instead we must acknowledge their fears, let them know they are not alone in "the fire" and that above all, they are loved by God and He will never, ever fail them. Though they cannot see Him, God is present and He is at work in their lives.
I am very grateful for the people in my life who are doing this for me as my husband and I face "the fire". I thank God for His precious children who have held out their arms and allowed us to cry without having to scold us or preach at us. They acknowledged the fire. They have not only listened, they have asked God what they can do to help us in our time of need. What is He asking them to do for us?
Between starting this blog and finishing it, my husband came home and handed me a check for a job he just completed. We knew the Christian organization he'd done the work for had promised this amount but sadly enough, they have never before paid us what was promised and they have often taken a year or longer to pay anything at all. More often than not, they end up paying nothing for the service rendered.
As I held the check in my hand, I stared at the amount. We must pay for our own health insurance beginning in January and the premium is very hefty... especially when the only family income at the moment is disability and when there is a disability involved there are usually health issues. This check will cover the January premium and I am reminded... that though things may be dark and a fierce fire is raging around us... God is right there beside us, whether we see Him or not.