Yesterday, I saw a television show where there was a building on fire. A little girl was in the building trying to get her grandmother out. She battled through the smoke and flames to get to her grandmother’s room only to find she was too late.
Now, the flames were roaring and overtaking the house. The smoke was thick and she began to cough and struggle to breathe. Something fell from the ceiling and pinned her to the floor. She braced herself for the inevitable.
Then, a fireman rescued her. He pulled her from under the debris and carried her through the flames and smoke out into the a safe place outside her little home.
I haven’t been okay. I don’t like to admit it. I don’t like to fess up and admit I am not doing so well. I like to cruise along and look like I am just fine.
I like to imagine people looking at me and wanting to be like Mike.
But lately, I don’t think there are many people out there that like Mike let alone want to be like me. I feel unlikable and abrasive.
I feel like I am in that burning building, running recklessly through it trying to save everyone. The smoke is unbearable. The heat is blistering. The flames chase me trying to make me fuel to their fire.
I fell like falling and letting it all fall in on top of me.
It has been so hard the last few months. No, this isn’t just about political unrest and the “rona”. Those are just a few of the flames lapping at my skin. There’s so much more to this struggle.
My wife gets annoyed that I am unable to speak these words. But when I speak, my emotions get in the way and my words are tinged with anger, frustration and sometimes even hate.
So, I am mostly silent about times like this.
Just the other day, my emotions took over and I said a lot of stupid stuff that negated any signs of intelligence my brain may have left. I still feel like an idiot about that and it has faded into the smoke that is choking me.
I honestly don’t believe this fire is going to consume me. It is just really, really hard and painful.
I remember the bible story of the three men tossed into the fiery furnace. Sure, God could have stopped the whole ordeal from happening. But, look at how many people, like me, have learned about surviving the flames.
Daniel 3:24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”
“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.
25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire.
It doesn’t say anything about these guys standing in the furnace dancing and singing, “Can’t Touch This”.
Maybe their agony was far worse than mine. But they were NEVER alone in the fire. Their rescue was there the entire time.
I’m not okay. I hurt. I’m afraid. I’m tired. I’m angry. I’m a lot of things but I am not alone. I don’t have to wait for my rescuer to arrive. He is here right now. Even as I feel like it is all going to overcome me, I am more than an overcomer.
The fire is all around me but I am going to be called out of it before long. Flames and smoke and heat are not my destiny because my redeemer lives and he is rescuing me even though I can’t really see it happening right now.
The flames may be way too close for comfort but they “Can’t Touch This”!