“The fire was started in a corner of the stable. Slowly, insidiously, like a malignant virus, smoke seeped up the walls, along the floors, under the doors and in over the window sills. It was late summer so fires were not in many of the rooms of the castle and even the kitchen fire had been banked for the night. The first warning they had that something was wrong was the smell of smoke.
A knight ran into the hall where the family was gathered to tell the King they had a fire in the stable. King Caelestis turned and told everyone to stay in that part of the castle and if the smoke became thicker to climb up the stone steps of the tower to the open air but not to open the door until he returned. Then stepping out into the hall and through the opposite door leading to the nursery, he told the young nurse to do the same.”
“Clearly,” she thought, “the fire was not in the passageway if the kitchen servant could stand there with the water,” so she pulled back the bolt. They rushed at her pulling a burlap sack over her head, tying it quickly around her mouth so she couldn’t scream. They bundled her up like a bag of feed over a hard shoulder and carried her from the room, down the stairs, to the main level. She could tell they were carrying her further down to another level, through the back kitchen, the kitchen garden and pens that held the chickens, piglets, ducks, and goats, though the door in the wall, through the gate, across the bridge, into the wood. She was slung across the back of a horse and jolted till she fainted from the knowledge that she was most certainly going to die. ”
We bolt the door, we lecture the kids, we take every precaution, but seeping in over the sill, deception and other evil things intrude into our lives and destroy our best plans and intentions. We have had everything we need provided for. (Ephesians 1:3). We have the protections of eternity in place surrounding us. (2 Peter 1:3, John 16:33) And still evil invades. But we know that it is only a temporary condition, (Romans 8:28) That good will prevail and our hearts tho suffering for this moment (Romans 8:18) will receive the promise of joy in the end. (1 Cor. 2:9)
It is the end, we pursue. It is the journey that makes it rich, but it is the arrival to the place of joy and peace and reward that we persevere to. And rest in the promises of the future that is more important than, no matter how grave, the now.