Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
(MercyMe’s “Even If”)
The above chorus is the writer’s affirmation that even in the face of trials and tribulations, he still trusts that God can deliver him even if He chooses not to.
The song is derived from Daniel 3:17-18, when Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego refused to bow down to King Nebuchadezzar, even under threat of being thrown into a real fire. Their exact words were as follows:
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty's hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
I never expected to witness the literal meaning of those verses, but that time came just about two weeks ago when my town erupted in flames one night and tens of thousands had to evacuate their homes. As the fire moved west and neighborhoods became safe again, some were able to return to their homes while others had no homes to return to.
My home was on the east side of the freeway while the fire was on the west, so while there was a day of concern, it soon became apparent that my home would remain safe. I wasn’t in the fire. I am still singing from unaffected safety.
But there are others who aren’t. Those whose homes were in the flames fell on both sides of this chorus. Some homes were saved while others were lost. It is very hard to understand why, but these individuals have experienced God’s saving or restrained hand in the midst of the fire. Only God knows why he saved some and allowed others to burn, and we may never know, but I am hoping that those who know Christ can still sing those last two lines, and those who don’t might come to know that in the midst of life’s various fires, our hope truly is in Him alone.