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OPINION: Standing where the fire has been

Dave Moench

Five-year-old Johnny was in the kitchen and his mother asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn't want to go in alone.

"It's dark in there and I'm scared."

She said, "It's OK — Jesus will be in there with you."

Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came, and he said, "Jesus, if you're in there, would you hand me a can of tomato soup?"

Have you ever been apprehensive, or awakened from a night's sleep feeling, anxious or fearful? If you have you're not alone.

Life is full of uncertainties. Fear can be paralyzing and even make you not want to get out of bed some mornings. With Job we might cry, "For sighing comes to me instead of food; my groans pour out like water." (Job 3:24).

Jesus spoke down into our day just prior to His coming saying, "Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world ..." (Luke 21:26). Indeed a terrible storm is coming upon this world (Daniel 2:44-45; 12:1; Matthew 24:21-31). How can we be prepared to meet it?

Years ago, some settlers were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow.

One day they saw a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie. The dry grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. Only one of the men seemed to know what could be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back on it. As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, "Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?" The leader replied, "Child, the flames cannot reach us here, because we are standing where the fire has been!"

Mercifully, the fires of the wrath of God's judgment against us (Revelations 14:10) have burned themselves out on Jesus (Matthew 27:27-31). His friends are safe from that firestorm (John 15:15; Psalm 23; 91). Wile the future might look dark, if we accept the provision made for us at Calvary (John 3:16), we stand with Christ, where the fire has been. Now, when we see the flames approaching, we can "have confidence [even] on the day of judgment" (1 John 4:16-18).

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