Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Snatched from the Flames!

image: oreo.usmessageboard

Imagine you live in Colorado right now. But not just anywhere. You live in Colorado Springs. There are upwards of 30,000 people, cramming and bottlenecking every road and back road. Cars and trucks, trailers and U-Hauls jammed to overflowing, are all crawling at a snails pace.
But the fire isn't.
It's raging.
The wind is skipping it along, chasing from house to house.
Explosions are everywhere as everything combusts.
The heat from the day is unbearable, let alone that heat coming from the approaching fire. It's laced with the smoke of everything from wood to plastic, churning up in a billowing cloud of choking, dry fumes.

Now imagine you are asleep.
You don't know all this.
The fire is bearing down on your home, sweeping into a now empty subdivision of deserted housing.
Everyone is evacuated and fleeing to safety...everyone but you.

Maybe you took an extra sleeping pill last night, when everyone said it looked like the fire was certain to go the other direction and may even be contained. Maybe you just slept in from a hard day's work.
Whatever the reason, there you are. Lying in your bed. Deep in Neverland, and even in the middle of your favorite dream.

The house is only just beginning to warm up. If your eyes were open you'd see that it was growing strangely dark just outside the window. You'd notice the orange and yellow reflections on the glass, dancing and lapping their way to your doorstep.

Just then there's a knocking on the door! Then a beating, rapping! You were all tucked away, safe and secure last night, even remembered to lock the doors. Just as your eyes are starting to twitch, a sharp, steel axe crashes through your nice oak door. It's violently ripped away, and then slammed with alarming force again into the same hole, over and over.
That beautiful door is reduced to splinters in a matter of seconds, and you've just began to enter into reality.

The dream is over.
What is that smell?
WHY is it dark?
WHAT was that horrific sound coming from outside your bedroom door?!
Just then he bursts into your room! A grizzly, dirty old man. His face is covered in ashes and sweat, and his breathing is shallow and burdened. He's shouting words, but you can't understand!
You shoot up out of your bed, rigid and gripped by fear of the axe in his hand.
The axe that he drops carelessly as he begins to rush toward you.
Just as if your dream has turned to a nightmare, you find you can't move, can't think, and everything is happening in slow-motion.
It doesn't matter.

In a moment he's at your bedside.
Before you can hit him, you realize he's scooped you up into his arms, and just as you begin to beat upon his chest and scratch out his eyes your mind begins to awaken from the slumber, his words begin to form pattern. You understand for the first time what he's shouting,

"The fire is almost upon us! You have to get out NOW!"

It's then, as he's stumbling down your hallway, drenched in sweat from the burden of carrying you over his shoulders, it all begins to soak into your mind. The smell of smoke. The lack of oxygen. The fire outside the window.... your lungs fill reflexively and you hear yourself screaming,


He bursts out of the entry to your home just as it begins to be lapped by the flames, and you behold the scene of total carnage strewn before you. As if an atomic bomb has exploded, the world is in chaos!
The inside of your throat is raw.
You can see wild animals bounding from the tree line, racing anywhere, any direction that leads away from a horrible death. 
The firemen are exhausted. 
Water is growing scarce.
Choppers and planes are flying overhead.
The media and press are suffocating.
Tempers are flaring.
Panic begins to set in....

You are filled with terror and horror! But he is racing you to the only vehicle left in the street, a fire-truck with blinding sirens. For the first time you feel a wave of comfort wash over you, a gladness that you are in this old brute's grasp. This brute. This man... This hero.

Driving away from the fire, dodging all of the burning embers, you realize that you're going to make it. All is lost, but your life is gained.

You are thankful. No, overjoyed. Exuberant!

He drives you right into the shelter, and you are greeted by other rescued souls, all gathered together and recanting their tragic stories.
Someone hands you a cell phone and you call your family. When you hear that soft and uncertain, "Hello?" on the other end of the line, you burst forth in emotion!

Tears flow on both ends as your loved ones realize you are safe. You find deep thankfulness in your heart, and you gulp for air, desperately launching into your story, of how you were doomed to the flames, unaware of the danger. Your speech breaks out in broken sobbing as you tell the story of this miraculous old man who risked his own life, wading into that burning hell to find you.

You find out then that it was them who'd tried to reach you, watching the news on the television. When they couldn't raise you on the phone, they'd launched into an all out battle plan to find you, calling every hotline and local fire department, speaking with every police station and every front-desk sergeant within 50 miles, giving them your name and address, afraid that you might not know.
And that desperate calling paid off. All the way to this old man, willing to walk into the fire for a total stranger.

You were saved, and he becomes your friend. Years go by and you still are happy to tell his story of heroic proportions. You smile every time you think of him. You gush over him when you reminisce your memorial rescue. Your friends have heard the story a thousand times, and they'll hear it a thousand more.
The paper even wrote up an article. There was an award given by the mayor.
Such a good story, and it warms every heart it touches!

'You will know them by their fruit. Grapes aren't gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire. So by their fruit you will know them.' ~Matthew 7

Now friend, I ask you.  When I open my Bible to talk to you about this man named Jesus, this Savior, this Hero, will you understand?
And if this Rescuer has also snatched you from the flames, won't you be glad to talk about Him, to remember the gift of such everlasting grace?  Won't you be leaping in your heart to pour over his story?  Won't you just be dying to tell another soul, sleeping in their beds?


  1. My goodness Dan! That msg was God inspired. I could tell the words were pouring out of you! I love your willingness to share God's love without shame!

  2. No greater picture could be painted in my mind of the urgency to share Jesus. Thank you Dan, for making this so vivid! I wish the whole world would read this and understand.