by Rock Church | September 19, 2019

It was a good day. 

Cheyane, a young firefighter, was being promoted to Apparatus Operator where he’d operate the hook and 100-foot aerial ladder. He felt good that his hard work had been recognized. In the station that day, there were handshakes and pats on the back from his brothers in arms. Cake was passed around. The captain gave Cheyane a way-to-go punch to his shoulder and a smile. It was a good day.

That evening, the station alarm alerted the men to a commercial fire on First and Cooper, and Cheyane jumped into action.

Everything was going according to plan. Cheyane climbed to the top of the single-floor building and began trying to find a spot to cut a hole for ventilation.

Suddenly, the roof gave way. Cheyane crashed through and landed in an earthly hell. The room was smoldering, the walls and ceiling were crackling, and pieces were falling with fiery tracers. A wild, leaping fire and dense black smoke filled nearly every inch. 

Cheyane kept his face low to the ground—the only place to find breathable air. Still, he felt his flesh begin to melt. He was beginning to bake to death.

That’s when two things that shouldn’t have happened, did. Cheyane was lying in the equivalent of an oven set on high. If he were at home and accidentally put his hand in something as hot as where his body lay, he would have pulled it away with wide-eyed panic. 

But Cheyane, who had given his life to Christ years before, felt something different come over him: peace. With sober and calm, he spoke to God, “Whether I’m going home to my wife or You, Lord, I’m okay with it. I’m ready.”

Outside, the fire captain was trying to solve the problem. He knew the Standard Operating Procedures perfectly. Yet, he got an abnormally strong feeling to put a charged hose into the hole and open it up. That was against all SOPs as the water turns to scalding steam and will lay waste to any living thing. Cheyane would burn to death in seconds. But the captain had an overwhelming sense to do exactly that. 

He took the hose, put it in the hole, and fired away. It turned to steam with an earsplitting whoosh. But because of the shaft of air that Cheyane had caused when he fell through the ceiling, the steam shot through the hole, leaving some of the water to cascade down. Large water drops covered Cheyane where he lay.

It was a glorious sight: the raging fire and the captive firefighter lying beneath a bolt of light and being doused by heaven-sent rain.

It was a glorious sight: the raging fire and the captive firefighter lying beneath a bolt of light and being doused by heaven-sent rain. 

As his brothers carried Cheyane away from the fire, his mind was a blur of praise. You chose to save me, God. I would have come home to You, but You chose to save me. You must have something for me to do.

Yes, He did.

In the following days, his captain often visited Cheyane in the hospital. He saw Cheyane’s courage, peace—things he hadn’t ever noticed in other men’s eyes. He was moved that God had potentially saved Cheyane’s life through him. Finally, he had to have Cheyane’s God. There at the bedside, Cheyane led his captain to Christ. 

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