Are you one of many who has experienced fear and loss from fire? How does faith in God fit into that?
Finding God in the midst of forest fire trauma can be a confusing process. Forest fires are raging in Colorado and Utah and hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Tens of thousands of people evacuated near Colorado Springs and other communities and many have experienced loss from fire.
Some on the news are saying to reporters, “God spared my home,” while others weep over their losses. Where was God for those who prayed but felt their prayers weren’t answered?
I wondered just that when a 50,000-acre forest fire threatened our town of one thousand folks in the California Sierra in August 1994. For a full week we watched the flames inch or race up or down yet another slope toward our community. For a couple of days I evacuated our home with our four children and a trunk load of photograph albums, waiting for the winds to calm as the sun set each of those nights. When the smoke would clear at night, we could make out a jagged, orange line as we drove back into town, trusting that things would be okay yet one more evening.
The final afternoon, though, wind combined with dry heat and the firestorm headed for the neighborhood edging the southwest corner of our town. Brave firemen — a crew of more than 2,500 — drew a line with trucks and water lines and kept the flames and even the flying ashes from reaching the houses. And then suddenly the wind switched and the fire headed eastward and eventually burned out over the next mountain range in patches of desert.
Why are some prayers answered and some not? We may never know, although we must acknowledge that all of us suffer in some way during our time on earth. And when we do, others can find God in us, because “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort . . . comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Allow the God of all comfort to comfort you today by watching and listening to this beautiful rendition of Psalm 23, “The Lord Is My Shepherd”:
© Janet Holm McHenry. Janet McHenry is a national speaker and author of 19 books, including the best-selling PrayerWalk. More about Janet’s prayerwalking and writing and speaking ministry can be found on her website, www.janetmchenry.com, or her blog, http://janetmchenry.wordpress.com.
Have any of you readers suffered loss from fire, yet during that difficult time felt God’s presence and comfort?