Several years ago, my wife Marilynn and I were touring the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. We marveled at its magnificent architecture, the paintings inside, and its overall design.
Inside, we noted the number of Christians on their knees, humbly seeking God in prayer. We joined them, knowing that our prayers were among the millions offered through the centuries in that place.
Then the fires started consuming Notre Dame this week. Against the backdrop of the dark of night, flames burned its structure. An 800-year-old church was being partially destroyed before a watching world’s eyes.
What can we learn from this disaster? Several spiritual truths crossed my mind.
First, nothing is permanent here. The Bible tells us that one day everything in this world will be consumed by fire (2 Peter 3:10). Our home is in heaven. Therefore, we should always keep our eyes focused on things above (Colossians 3:1).
Next, fire in the Bible is always connected to God’s judgment. 1 Peter 4:17 says that God’s judgment begins with the household of faith. Therefore, before we Christians become too angry with the world, we should take some time to examine our own lives. Are we pure? Holy? Consecrated before the Lord? If not, God’s Word says that his judgment will begin with us before he deals with the world’s sin.
Also, destruction is not the end of the story. People of all different backgrounds and faith are stepping forward and pledging millions of euros to rebuild Notre Dame. I pray it will become more beautiful than ever before. Let’s believe the words from Jeremiah the prophet as he beheld the burned walls and temple: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is God’s faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21-22).
If you feel broken, know that God has invested billions of dollars for your restoration. It’s called the cross of Jesus. When you receive Jesus, his love pulsates in and through you. It is the strongest force in the universe.
And when you yield your life to Jesus, behold, he makes all things new. He heals the broken places in your life. He gives hope to the burned-out places in your life.
Finally, remember that the church is not a building. Your body is the temple of God in which the Holy Spirit resides. Recollect today that you are the hands, feet, and mouth of Jesus to a hurting world. He wants to flow through you to touch people with his grace. Therefore, find a hurt and heal it. Find a need and fill it. When you do, you are the church---one that will never be destroyed. One that the gates of hell can’t withstand.
May the tragedy of Notre Dame remind us of these great spiritual truths.
May we believe them with a renewed faith today and forever.