There we were, chatting happily as we drove down Topeka’s main street. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, couples strolled hand-in-hand down the sidewalk while others sipped lattes on the café’s patio. Yes, all was well within our little world. Until, all of sudden, flames began bursting in the landscape nearby! The raging winds fanned the already roaring blaze until visions of an inferno overtaking the historical buildings of downtown and eventually the entire city began consuming our view. I was in shock but the confident herald of my son from the backseat jolted me alert as he jumped out of the moving car in attempt to rescue the city from the massive drama unfolding before our very eyes – a drama that no one had seemed to notice just moments before. With a rapid heartbeat, I followed his orders to call 9-1-1 as he held out his hands and boldly prayed for the rapidly growing firestorm to cease. At last, the sound of sirens rang closer as my son bravely stood in the street ushering the firefighters to the unfolding scene as passersby gasped with anticipation. Before we knew it, evaporating smolders were all that remained and every person and building was miraculously spared. The firefighters recognized it was because of the efforts led by one brave boy and presented my son with a badge of honor for his bravery in helping to save our city from fiery peril. And once again, all was well with our little world.
Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly how it happened. But there was a (small) fire, Zechariah did encourage me to call 9-1-1, and firefighters did show up and give him a (sticker) badge.
Later, while having fun embellishing the events a bit, Zechariah said it all reminded him of how the world would one day end. He went on to describe how the Lord would one day send a great fire that would consume the world much like the flood in Noah’s day. But, similar to how he had just recently “saved Topeka from the fire,” Jesus would come to save those who loved Him and were ready for His return. Wow!
The next morning as I was in prayer, 2 Peter 3 popped into my mind. I had no idea what it said and was astonished to read that this was a verbatim account of what Zechariah had shared with me the day before. God had used his innocent imagination to paint a vivid picture of Christ’s return. What do we do with that?
The real version of our fire story was really no big deal, but it could have been. And we had tons of fun fantasizing about how this small scene could turn Zechariah into a super hero who saved an entire city. I wasn’t thinking about the tie into Jesus. But my little guy quickly saw how the stories paralleled. As in the days of Noah (Matthew 24), people will be going about their day to day, not aware of any real danger, much like the day we saw the fire in Topeka. But also, as in Noah’s day, a fire will replace the flood and consume those who don’t recognize the greatest Hero of all, Jesus. Yet He will come and rescue those who partner with Him.
If the fire were to come today, would you be ready? Or would you be consumed? Jesus offers a way of escape. He is our great Hero that can rescue from even the deadliest peril. But we must recognize and put our trust in Him. It’s never too late to call to Him for help. And it’s not too late for Him to come to our rescue. May we be encouraged by placing our hope in Him today.