We recently had a huge wildfire in the hills above our home. It quickly developed into the largest fire in California history with 700 homes destroyed locally. The hot, dry winds induced the fire to rapidly spread to surrounding communities causing significant devastation.
Even though we live on the hill, we were never told to evacuate! We went to bed. But the smell of smoke was so strong we could not sleep. We knew there was a fire in the next town and we thought the wind was blowing their smoke our direction. Little did we know the fire had already reached our hill!
Around 11:45 my husband got up and discovered the sky at the top of the hill was red. We would need to evacuate–but where would we go? Motels will be filled with people who evacuated earlier from the next town. Just then a friend who lives at the beach texted: “Come and stay with us.” It was 10 min. before midnight. I felt God directed that text!
When we walked outside we were shocked at the swirling hot smoke above us and the red embers falling from the sky. The streets were packed with cars trying to evacuate the hills. Most traffic signals didn’t work and it took a half hour to drive one mile to the beach. Many people stayed up all night hosing down their roofs and putting out spot fires. They not only saved their own homes, but the homes of neighbors. These people are heroes.
It was interesting to hear the different responses from people who’d lost their homes. One friend called the next morning and said, “Our home burned down but we are thanking God for the many years we were able to live there.” Or, “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. We will still bless the name of the Lord.”
Then there was, “Why me? Why did our house have to burn?” Compared with: “Why not me? Why NOT our house?”
Those people who were surrendered to Jesus Christ, seemed to come through this tragedy with hope. One friend said it became a platform for them to share Christ with many people. They were able to explain that they were trusting God and He had given them peace: “What we lost was just stuff.”
Whatever disaster strikes, as followers of Jesus, we know our God stands firm and we can always, always trust Him.
- In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 1 Peter 1:6
- Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. Proverbs 3:25-26