So my son, Gabe, is sitting peacefully on his couch a few nights ago when his wife bursts into the room and hollers something to the effect of, “Honey, the kitchen’s on fire!” He jumps off the couch and runs out to the kitchen to find that a pot of cooking oil is on fire. No problem, he just checked his fire extinguisher less than two months ago — he knows right where it is and that it’s charged and ready to go. So he runs past the stove to the room with the extinguisher.
It only takes a few seconds to grab it but by now the fire is climbing up the wall behind the stove. No problem, Gabe, extinguisher in hand, pulls the pin, aims at the base of the fire, squeezes the handle, and…
Oh the little challenges life throws at us… Here’s Gabe in his 100 year old house (no exaggeration, it really is 100 years old) that’s on fire, with a fire extinguisher in his hand that’s of no use, except perhaps as a boat anchor. As anyone in the fire service knows, 100 year old houses are tinder dry and burn like a pile of kindling. So by now the fire has climbed up the wall and is already starting to roll across the ceiling. Gabe grabs a cutting board and tries to cover the pan with it but it’s too hot. He can’t get close enough to the pot. He presses forward but suffers first degree burns to his forehead and hand in his attempt.
Plan ‘A’ no go, plan ‘B’ not working, hopefully Gabe can put this fire out before he runs out of letters in the alphabet.
He runs out the back door where the garden hose is, quickly he turns on the spigot, runs back into the house and instantly recalls something. As I listened to Gabe tell the story I’m thinking, “Something he learned from his firefighter father perhaps?” But no, of course not. Rather he recalled something he’d recently seen on TV. Some dramatic film footage of what happens when water hits burning cooking oil. It looks something like a miniature atomic explosion.
So very carefully, Gabe aims the garden hose stream at the wall and ceiling, avoiding flowing any water into the pot of burning oil. As the fire on the wall and ceiling are knocked down he’s able to get closer to the stove top. With the garden hose in one hand, and the cutting board in the other, Gabe covers the pot of burning oil with the cutting board.
Fire’s out, game over, house saved, thanks to God’s grace, and Gabe’s quick thinking and cool head.
I find it interesting that Gabe happened to see that film footage of what happens when water hits burning oil just a few weeks before he needed that bit of wisdom. God has a way of preparing us for the future He’s laid out for us.
Next time you’re enduring a trial or tribulation take heart. God is more concerned with your eternal condition than he is with your current comfort. He loves us enough to prepare us for what is to come. Consider how God prepared David for his battle with Goliath.
Before David slew Goliath king Saul said,
“You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”
But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.
1 Samuel 17:33-36