Dear Friends, I was a firefighter for five years. Never did I have to rescue someone from a burning building, or do anything heroic, but I do remember the utter darkness that a firefighter walks through during a fire. It is completely dark in the smoke, and one must always know how to get back out of that darkness. Sometimes you must trust someone else to lead you.
A firefighter recounts a time when he received a call to a two-story house fire. Upon arriving on the scene, he found a father running away from the house carrying his son in his arms. The father proceeds to tell the firefighter the story of how he managed to get his son from the upper level of a house that was completely engulfed in flames. His account goes like this:
"I awoke late at night to the smell of smoke. With the haze of sleep still weighing heavy upon my senses, I proceeded to look around the room for a fire. I saw none. I got out of bed and opened the door to my bedroom. As soon the door opened, I was leveled with the wall of smoke. My first thought after seeing this sight was that of my 5-year-old son. I could still see up and down the halls of the upper floor, telling me that the fire was somewhere on the lower floor. Apparently, the smoke was just now making its way to the upper level. I ran down the hall to my son's room. It happened to be in the opposite direction of where the smoke was coming from so this bought me some time to get to him. I opened the door to his room, and found him still snug in his bed. I woke him and told him we had to get out immediately. As soon as he entered the hallway and saw the smoke, I saw the fear enter his eyes. I grabbed his hand, and told him it would be ok; " just follow me and we'll get out", I assured him. The more we entered the smoke, the darker it got (and the more frightened he became). I don't remember how or when, but at some point I lost his hand and he ran back upstairs to the apparent safety of his room. After I got outside, I realized he wasn't there. I immediately ran around to the side of the house to where his bedroom window was, hoping he would be there somewhere. When I got to his window, I saw him working hard to raise it up. After a few seconds of struggle he managed to get it opened. Dark, black smoke began rolling out from behind him; hiding him in its thick embrace. Rubbing his eyes against the smoke, I heard him yelling my name. "Dad! Dad! Are you there?!" I'm here son I replied! "Dad help me". Jump son, Jump, I yelled back up to him. "Dad, I can't! I can't see you down there! I'm scared to jump because I can't see you!" Son, it's ok, I can see you! I can see you and I will catch you if you just jump out of the darkness. With all of the faith that a 5 year old can muster, he jumped. I caught him in my arms and ran away to the sound of sirens from the fire trucks that had just arrived."
As I read this, I became aware of how many times in our lives God says the same thing to us. When we are lost in the darkness of sin, we call out from that darkness for help. To which the Lord replies, "I see you! You can't see me, but I'm here. Jump and I will catch you. Trust and have faith in me. I won't let you down."