June 23, 2023
When The Storm Brings Fire
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Thunder cracked the sky when a lightning bolt ripped through the roof of our home, igniting a fire that redefined our normal that night in 2017. The house snapped dark and shook. It was as if a bomb had gone off.
“I think we got hit!” Hunter screamed from the family room. We hurried outside to see if it was true.
The next few minutes were a blurry race against the clock. Get the dogs out! Get the cars out! I’ll grab the computers! And that’s pretty much all we had time for. The flames and smoke kicked us out of our home and were far from warmth or comfort.
Sirens roared. Red lights flashed.
Fear and helplessness stood in the rain beside me as I watched it all play out from across the street. My feet were naked. In the chaos and commotion, I didn’t think to put any shoes on. Someone noticed and placed a pair of leather boat shoes before me. I gratefully slipped them on.
The minutes seemed like months in the moments between the arrival of the firefighters and the point at which they had the hoses hooked up to a water source.
Hurry up, guys!
Flames raged wildly from my closet window. The house glowed bright with orange. Was this really happening?
Two trucks. Three. Four. Firemen running and shouting. Police on the scene. News cameras and reporters.
Why was it taking so long?
Neighbors everywhere. Soaked. Stunned. Standing in support. Offering prayers and a place to stay. They’d all felt the earth shake within their homes when ours was hit.
Once the fire was contained and fully out, we were allowed to go back in to grab a few personal items. It was almost 1 am. Darkness hung thick in the air. The power had been cut, so the firemen led us through the ashes, debris, and water with handheld lights.
Our upstairs looked like a smoldering freight train had passed through, hurling darkness and destruction. Soot and debris were all around. Water and smoke were everywhere. And ashes. Heaps and heaps of ashes. Could this really be our home?
Yet God’s peace was in the midst of it all, calming me. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a).
In that season of ashes, God bid me to trust Him. Time and time again. In the frustration, exhaustion, and tears. As I spent time in prayer, I sensed Him inviting me to trust His timing, His plan, His sovereignty, and His ability to restore and make new.
Isaiah wrote: "This is what the Lord says … ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland’" (Isaiah 43:16-19).
What former or fiery things have left you dwelling on the past?
Is there something or someone the Lord is bidding you to trust Him with today?
Maybe yours isn't a house fire or literal ashes, but a prodigal child, a crumbling marriage, or an aging parent? Maybe you're passing through the deep waters of a health battle or a financial burden.
God is at work in the middle of every struggle and storm. Even when questions loom and pain is present. He is faithful and powerful, able to do more than you and I can ever ask for or imagine.
Let’s ask for and imagine a fresh rising of strength and hope today as we trust God’s goodness - even when our circumstances burn like fire and smell like smoke.
Dear Lord, You are faithful and good at all times. Thank You for promising to never leave or forsake Your children. Please strengthen me to face the fires before me today with courage and honor. Help me trust You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Let's Keep in Touch
June 30, 2023, Girlfriends in God is coming to a close. Thank you for linking arms with us in ministry for the past 17 years. We still want to share life with you! Click here to continue receiving devotions from Sharon Jaynes on Tuesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Mary Southerland on Wednesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Gwen Smith on Thursdays.
Now It’s Your Turn
What do you need to trust God with today?
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