Posts tagged ‘Apartment’

The God Who Catches Us


A week and a half ago, in an act of desperation, the mother of a three-year-old boy threw her son from her third-floor apartment balcony to Phillip Blanks, a former wide receiver and Marine veteran, who happened to be passing by in the parking lot below. She was trying to save her son because her apartment was engulfed in flames.

Mr. Blanks made the catch.

“There wasn’t much thinking,” he said, “I just reacted. I just did it.” He continued by crediting his time in football and in the Marine Corps:

I just did my best. His head landed perfectly on my elbow. I know how to catch. I’ve learned how to catch a football. So I’ll give some credit to football. I can definitely credit to the Marine Corps for instilling this good training in me to save a life. I don’t see myself as a hero. A person trained to do my job is trained to protect people.

The real hero, Mr. Blanks argued, is the boy’s mother:

She’s the real hero of the story because she made the ultimate sacrifice to save her children.

When the mother of this boy, Rachel, dropped her son from the balcony, she was on fire, but she ran back in to try to rescue her daughter, too. Her daughter survived when another passerby kicked in the door of the apartment to rescue the girl. Rachel lost her life.

When Jesus is in the wilderness being tempted by Satan, Satan says:

If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: “He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:6)

Jesus, however, is not interested in falling for Satan’s temptation. He responds:

It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matthew 4:7)

Satan, in his temptation, quotes Psalm 91, but he misquotes it. The original quote reads:

He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:11-12)

Satan leaves out a key phrase: “to guard you in all your ways.” This is not meant to be a promise that God will rescue us from our own foolish choices – like recklessly throwing ourselves off high places – but a promise that He will be with us no matter where the path of life may take us, even if that path takes us into a burning apartment.

Rachel faced a parent’s worst nightmare. She saw no other option for her son than to throw him down from a high place. But Psalm 91 was waiting in the parking lot below, in the form of Mr. Blanks, and her son was saved.

Even though Satan misquotes it, he is right to quote Psalm 91 to Jesus, for this psalm is ultimately about Jesus. In the very next verse, the Psalmist says:

You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. (Psalm 91:13)

A lion and a snake are images for Satan. There is coming a man, the Psalmist says, who will defeat the devil. And He does. He does in the wilderness when Satan tries to tempt Him. And He does on the cross when Satan thinks he has killed Him.

Though the lives of her two children were saved when their apartment caught fire, the life of a mother was lost. But make no mistake about it: Psalm 91 is waiting for her, too. For one day, on the Last Day, she will be lifted up from under her tombstone and brought into the presence of God – and a terrible tragedy will turn into a terrific triumph.

July 13, 2020 at 5:15 am 1 comment

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