Flames rage out of every window. Black smoke billows from the rooftop. I hear glass breaking. Red flashing lights are reflecting off the surrounding buildings as my rescue partner and I arrive on the scene of this burning apartment complex. As we run up to the second floor to assist the fire crew inside, residents rush past us in their pajamas, carrying the few belongings they remembered in their panic.
We crawl through the thick black smoke and find our crew; they advise us that the fire has gotten into the attic and will travel rapidly into the next set of apartments. My partner and I exit and make our way across the breezeway, forcing entry into the adjacent apartment attic to locate a possible cut-off point.
I kicked the door open and quickly realized that the apartment was full of sleeping family members. Somehow in the chaos and the noise, they had not evacuated. We began rapidly clearing the apartment, yelling, “Fire!”. Family members ran in every direction as we went from room to room. I remember them squeezing past me in the hallway as I made my way to the last two rooms. When I walked into the final room, there was a large mattress on the floor. The sheets and comforter had been thrown off in the rapid exit. Lying right in the middle of the bare mattress was a 5-year-old girl asleep. Time froze for a second as I processed what had transpired. She had been left behind.
I scooped her up, wrapped her in a sheet, and pulled her close to me to provide protection as I carried her through the harsh environment to safety. When I arrived outside, I found her family huddled in a car trying to stay warm and dry. A fogged-up window lowers, and I pass this child through the opening back to her family. I return to my original task.
Over the years, I have repeatedly played this scene in my head, trying to figure out how they would have left this child behind. I have concluded that Mom thought Dad had her and vice versa. Not an uncommon scenario when you’re fleeing for your safety.
I’ve often wondered how that child would have felt if she had woken up and realized that she had been left behind, alone in the chaos.
God’s desire is for none of us to wake up and find out that we have been left behind and alone. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance”.
God has already dispatched and positioned you a rescuer in place. Believe.