Running Toward the Fire

You’ve got to love Obadiah, don’t you? He’s relatable. An ordinary man going about his day job, and yet God used him to do some important things. He’s been given a bad rap about his obvious fear, but that’s what makes him so relatable, right? Who isn’t afraid when life hangs in the balance? That’s also what makes Obadiah so inspirational. He didn’t let his fear stop him from obeying the Lord. I’m sure he was also afraid when he hid the 100 prophets of the Lord, but he did it anyway. To me, that’s the definition of courage. Not letting your fear stop you. Stepping out in faith and obedience.

I picture Obadiah as a quiet man, going about his business without much fuss and doing it well. He’s described as a faithful servant of both the king and of God. Not easy to do when your king is the most wicked in Israel’s history. Yet, God needed him in that place at that time. In the court of an evil king.

I can think of many in our community who are like Obadiah, quietly going about their daily work in service to the Lord and their neighbors. This past Sunday, our family witnessed that first-hand when wildfires ripped through our farming community. My husband and I stood at the end of our driveway, looking at the smoke billowing to the south of us on both sides. We took in the dry fields and the relentless south wind and knew there was nothing we could do. We simply didn’t have the tools or the skills. So, we prayed. And God sent the Obadiah’s—the ones who were trained and able to get the job done. In addition to the volunteer firefighters and first responders, farmers in the area showed up, turning on center pivots and plowing and pushing dirt to create berms around personal property.

When I look at the arial pictures of the paths of each fire, I’m amazed at how many buildings were spared. All because people with skills were willing to run toward the fire, rather than away. How about us? God has placed each of us in our own spheres of influence and given us the skills needed to do our job. Will we run toward the fire when it comes, or let fear keep us away?

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