You look off into the distance. And you see it. It’s faint at first. It’s hard to make out. But something’s coming. It’s coming your way. And there’s a lot of it.
You strain your eyes. You refocus your vision hoping that you can eek out more details about whatever is coming your way. It’s growing closer and closer. It’s moving. It’s getting larger and larger.
Then, you realize what it is. Your eyes widen your muscles tense. You try with all of your might not to succumb to fear, shock, or disbelief. How can it be?! It’s lava!
Come on—sure, a flood of water is a terrible torrent. And fire is horrible all on its own. But lava?? It’s the worst of both worlds!
You try to run but you realize that your feet are embedded within the earth beneath you. You try to reach for something, a leverage of some sort to pull you up and out of harm’s way. But you can’t move your arms either. They’re stretched out wide, entangled in a heavy web of distractions, lies, and trauma.
It’s coming. It’s coming your way. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Now, what was once a speck in the horizon is a wave, a wave rushing towards you. What do you do? What can you do? You think this is it.
Middle of This Triad
All the while you’ve been looking down and looking out, you’ve forgotten to look up. You raise your pupils to find three pairs peering back at you. Three people? Where did they come from?
One’s in front of you. One’s on one side. Another’s on the other. You’re in the middle of this triad. They triangulate around you. They’re surrounding you.
They see what’s coming. But unlike you, they stand unafraid. In fact, they stand there with anticipation as if they’re beckoning the wave to come closer; to come faster; to come higher; to come stronger. You’re at your wits end. Are they insane?!
The wave inches closer. Now it’s centimeters away. You hold your breath. This is it. This is your doom. You close your eyes, waiting for it to overwhelm you. But then…Wait. What? Nothing.
You crack your eyes open to face the wave facing you. The lava’s surrounding you but it’s not consuming you. In fact, you see it enveloping the entanglements latched onto you. It’s disintegrating all the stuff that was becoming your unbecoming.
Instead of holding your breath, you exhale. Your exhale escalates into laughter. And you’re in good company. Why? Because the triad around you are laughing too.
For them, this is a small matter; it is nothing more than floating in the kiddie pool at the waterpark. For them, this is an adventure. For them, this is a way for you to know who they are. And it’s an avenue for you to discover who you are within them, surrounded by them, surrounded by their care, surrounded by their zeal.
The lava is no match against their love. Because of them, the wave doesn’t overwhelm you. On the contrary, the wave cleanses you. The wave lifts off the weights that were bogging you down, freeing you to rejoice in the cavity of their eternal passion.
What seemed to be your destruction actually became your liberation. What appeared to be your decimation actually became your restoration. And to answer your question—no, they’re not insane.
Unafraid of the Wave
When you read Isaiah 43:1-4, you find God who is unafraid of the fire, who is unafraid of the wave. You find God who’s sticking closer to you than your shadow at midday. God promises to surround you in their presence. They promise to turn the wave into something that’s not meant to destroy you, but something that’s meant to bless you.
The trial that attempts to reduce you becomes the test that elevates you. Please be encouraged. You may be facing a wave of fire by trial. It may be bigger than you. It may seem far more than what you can handle. The wave may swear to swallow you whole. But rest assured.
You have a God who’s already gone ahead of you. You have a God who surrounding you on every side. Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Abba Father are promising to be with you, promising that the flames won’t consume you, promising that the wave won’t overwhelm you.
It won’t send you into the grave. Actually, it will send you into glory. Why? Because they are with you.
So, go ahead. Be courageous. Welcome the wave.
“Fire Come(s) in Waves” inspires this story.