I was five or six years old when my big brother set the kitchen on fire. At least, that’s how it looked to me.
Terry was babysitting my little brother, Scott, and me when he decided to make popcorn. Now, in those long-ago days before microwaves, popcorn wasn’t an everyday snack; it was a treat. It required a heavy skillet, hot oil, and a lid (he forgot the lid once; that was entertaining). Then you had to stand at the stove and vigorously shake the pan for some time so the popping corn wouldn’t burn.
And if you happened to shake a little too vigorously so that the flame and the oil mixed—voila, fire! Then if you panicked and put the fiery pan in the sink, lighting the kitchen curtains in the process—voila, more fire!
Scott and I were eagerly watching this whole production. When the kitchen curtains caught fire, we thought the whole kitchen was on fire, and we ran for safety. And where do small children go when they run for safety? You got it—under the bed.
Of course, everything turned out fine. Terry put out the fire, my mother sewed new curtains for the kitchen, and our parents took advantage of the teachable moments. Now we all laugh about the incident.
Hiding from fire—and from firefighters, dressed in their big, strange-looking suits—is common for children. In fact, firefighters can have difficulty finding them as a result. But, of course, it does no good to hide from fire. In fact, it’s dangerous. The fire will find you.
This truth is obvious to adults. At least, it’s obvious when discussing fire. Yet we do exactly this when it comes to sin. We commit some sin and then, scared by guilt or shame, we try to hide—from the sin and/or from God. Sometimes we even try to hide with our pet sin, like a child playing with matches in the closet.
But hiding from sin or with sin will burn us every time. The fiery consequences will find us, no matter where we hide. And trying to hide from God when we’ve sinned is exactly like a child hiding from a scary-looking firefighter—it cuts us off from the only person who can rescue us.
Instead, Acts 26:20 advises us to:
- “Repent” – 1 John 1:9 tells us that God will surely forgive us if we confess our sins to Him
- “Turn to God” – Amos 5:6 advises us to “seek the Lord and live” (NKJV), while Acts 17:27 promises that “He is not far from each one of us.”
- “Do works befitting repentance” – Because God’s “divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3, NIV), we don’t have to remain cowering in the closet while the fire of sin burns our house down. By God’s power, we can “escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” and even “participate in the divine nature” (v. 4). How’s that for a rescue?