My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:2, NRSV).
On my way home Friday evening, I rounded the corner to the block that flanked my home. I was surprised to find six fire engines, lights flashing, cordoned off with a yellow strip, “Police line. Do not cross.”
“What’s going on?” I asked the policeman guarding the scene of action.
“There’s a fire.”
I saw and smelled smoke and tiny white pieces of charred debris in the air. Three firefighters on the roof of the blackened home took a chain saw to the remnants of the gutted skeleton of the rafters.
But not all the firemen were actively working on the house. Some were parked a block away.
My friend Mike, an expert firefighter, was usually the first to arrive at the scene of a burning building. As supervisor, he calmly evaluated safety conditions and determined what personnel and equipment to put into motion as the fire progressed. He often had back-up crews waiting a block away. Though eager to jump in, they had to await a radio call for assistance.
Sometimes when we sense a friend has a need, we rush in with answers. We figure we can fix the problem with a word of advice or offer a course of action, even when the friend is making unhealthy choices. We rescue them on our own terms.
But sometimes our Divine Chief asks us to wait nearby while he connects with our friend. That gives them an opportunity to understand His precepts in a new light or to reinforce a new level of trust in him. Even when there’s a 6-alarm fire. Especially when there’s a 6-alarm fire.
We need to ask:
- Lord, what are You up to?
- In what capacity do You want me to help my friend?
- What does Your timing look like in this situation?”
Papa, show us how to follow Your lead as you fight fires in our friends’ lives.
Friend, what do you do in the wait?