For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1:6)
There is yet another massive wildfire in my area this week. Our home is in no danger, but my family and I have watched from the window and seen the flames consume the hillsides near us.
I see a lot of chaff being burned up.
I also see a lot of homes threatened, though as I write this none has been lost. Times like this always make me wonder about verses like this. It seems like God is saying that His people will be protected from the fire, but we know that is not always the case. That leads me into a brief round of “This is beautiful poetry, but we know that life’s not always like that so how can I trust any of Scripture maybe it’s all poetry and I can’t take any of it literally–”
I’m glad you never have those moments, Beloved.
Anyway, it’s at about this point in my mental panic that three things occur. First, I read a little more closely, and I see that the Psalm says that God “watches over” his people, not that he keeps them from all harm. He doesn’t promise that the fire will not come, only that He will be with you in the fire.
Just ask Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Second, I remember that God has a different set of priorities than Michael has. God is far less concerned with the stuff of my life, or even with my life itself, than he is with the eternal me. Me, he keeps safe. Me is untouchable by the flames, be they physical or metaphorical. Me is a life hidden with Christ in God.
Third, I realize that I had a similar meltdown just three verses ago, and I realize that I am indeed a pitiful wretch.
But I’m a pitiful wretch loved by God. I’ll take it.
Happy Monday, Beloved.