The Burning House :: By Sally Law

She was not a morning person, but he was. He took it upon himself to either make her coffee or do the coffee run. This wife of his was still a cherished bride even after many years of marriage, and he knew this one way into her heart—coffee—freshly brewed with lots of cream.

On this particular day, as the early morning sun was barely disturbing any living creature, he decided he would drive to the local coffee shop and snag her a morning cup of her favorite concoction— to go. He leaves a note at her bedside just in case she wakes before his return. It says, “Be back soon with your favorite. Love, J—.” He slips out of the house, their home, undetected.

He reaches the coffee shop just as the doors are opened, as business is already happening. He sees a neighbor and stops for a few minutes discussing the latest bass-lure technology. He is a man on a mission, as he knows it is just about the time his bride will be waking up. She will be wondering what is keeping him and why there is no coffee aroma, hopefully in that order —as he reassures himself.

He makes his way home, choosing the familiar route because it is the only route. He noticed smoke billowing from the tree line adjacent to their home. He rolls down his window but hears no sirens. It is oddly quiet even for a Saturday. Someone must want a fire in their fireplace very early, he thought, although it was not particularly cold or even chilly.

Rounding the corner, he sees heavy, black smoke coming from the area of his home. Possibly, one of his neighbors was burning trash, he speculates. But the thought was dismissed as soon as he drew closer to his street. It appeared to be coming from his house!

He scrambles for his cellphone while speeding up to get there. He was driving like a madman, panicking when he realized that he left his cellphone back at the coffee shop.

Apparently, the entire street was still sleeping in on this day, as no one was seen outside that could help him. His eyes were burning with tears even before the smoke reached him with full effect. His heart was beating double time and his adrenaline was suddenly in charge. He must save her and bring her out of the burning house. The fire was advancing quickly. There is no time to call or wait for emergency services; it is now or never.

Flames are shooting from the windows and dancing across the roofline. Everything he holds of value is in this house. The fire was moving with decisive fury to destroy all that he loved.

He parked across the street and ran as fast as he could to the garden hose. He turns on the water, drenching himself, and also sprays water on the front entryway. He opens the door to see what his mind cannot even comprehend—a wall of fire on one side. He closes the door and enters at the back side of the house where he sees smoke seeping through a crack. He covers his face with his wet shirt and runs to the master bedroom as fast as he can, praying it is not too late.

He hurries past important things and valuables: wedding photos, scrapbooks of their life together she had lovingly made him, pictures of their children and grandchildren. A house filled with things that seem to be irreplaceable. As he runs by them in single-minded fervor, he thinks of only one thing that is not replaceable: his wife—his bride. Everything else seems to fade into the background where it belongs. He sees the earthly possessions as what they truly are: tokens and trinkets collected as one passes through life.

After what seemed like an eternity, he reached their bedroom. He continued calling her name, “S——!”

He touched the door with his wet hand; it is warm but not hot. He opens it— slowly— and the first thing he sees is her—motionless and lying on the floor, her cellphone next to her. Thankfully, no fire had reached her. The smoke is prevalent throughout the house, but she must have shut the bedroom door to keep the fire at bay.

He moved quickly to her side and pushed her silver hair from her face. She is breathing very slowly and laboriously. He called to her over and over as he lifted her onto the bedspread. Her eyes finally opened, as she smiled and said, “I knew you would come….my love.”

A day of urgency is approaching. It feels as desperate as a burning house. A day when the world will seem like a giant tinderbox housing a bride inside, a precious bride – one for whom the groom has given his very life. The groom has left for just a moment, but He will return because He loves the bride. He sealed this love with a promise of His return, to redeem her and bring her to where He is—a place of exquisite splendor prepared with her in mind.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

The kindling for the fire of God’s final judgment of mankind is already within His reach. The bride of Christ also sits among the earth right now, but she will not be thrown into the fires of God’s wrath. She will escape, saved by her groom the very moment He snatches her away from this earth at the Rapture.

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).

Jesus will snatch His bride from the fires of judgment. She belongs to Him, and we have the promises of:

-Meeting the Lord in the air at the Rapture of the church.

-We belong to Christ. We are His precious possession.

-We are united to Christ and became one spirit with Him the moment we believed.

-We are his body.

-We are the bride of Christ.

-We are spared from judgment.

-We are taken to a place Jesus himself prepared for us.

You and I have someone who loves us very much. As believers, is there anyone who loves us like Jesus does? Hopefully, if you are married, like I am, you know that the love of a husband is the closest reflection of Christ and the church. If you are a husband, then you reflect Christ and the expression of Him to your wife and bride, as she is the earthly picture of the church. It is a love relationship; husband and wife and Christ and his church.

Christ will call his bride into the air very soon. He has not forgotten her—for he loves her. This earth really is a tinderbox ready to ignite at any moment, but not before he removes us—the bride of Christ!

When I hear the trumpet, I will say, “I knew you would come….my Lord and King!”

Sally Law