By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
What would you take if you had five minutes to evacuate your home?
When I was a newspaper reporter, I covered a lot of bad news. This photo is of one event I showed up for, arriving moments before flames roared through the front window, shattering glass, nerves, and hope.
Thankfully, no one was home. But that family didn’t get the chance to choose what they’d take.
Though I no longer chase down the latest-breaking news story, I still pay close attention to the fire-ripe conditions in our drought-dry state.
Fire season hasn’t yet arrived in Colorado, but fires have. My heart breaks to hear of homes, livestock, and grazing land consumed by unstoppable wind-driven flames. Last week a wildland fire swept over 40,000+ acres southeast of Colorado Springs and devoured more than twenty homes.
And it’s nothing new.
Parched fuel, plus wind, plus any little spark can flare into a prairie, forest, or neighborhood fire before callers dial 9-1-1.
Several states have been hit with devastating fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or blizzards in the last few years. Such conditions leave many people living in fear due to the speed with which these natural disasters strike.
But the thing is, we have no control over any of them. What we do have control over is our choice between scared or prepared.
A few years ago when the Royal Gorge Fire threatened our area, my family prepared a grab-and-run plastic tub. It held important files, medications, tech devices, and a few items we wanted to preserve – small things that fit inside and could not be easily replaced.
I was surprised by how many of my possessions could be replaced and how many I could live without.
With fires on the rise here, I’ve packed up the grab-and-run tub again, and it waits in my office. Taking a cue from friends who endured the Northern California fires last October, I’ve also backed up my computer off-site. And we’ve taken some fire-mitigation precautions around the house.
But the greatest preparation involves the heart. I have no control over anything other than my response. I can choose to live in fear, or I can choose to trust God—even if I have no warning and everything burns up, including the grab-and-run tub.
“Even if” are pretty big words. The Old Testament prophet, Daniel, wrote of three young Hebrew captives who refused to worship a golden statue set up by their captor, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
They insisted that God was able to save them, yet that wasn’t all.
“Even if he does not … we will not serve your gods” (Daniel 3:17,18 NIV). (Read the entire account for an encouraging story of faith and deliverance.)
Fire season makes me grateful for every hard, frightening, painful time in my life, because they’ve all shown me that I serve a faithful God. I lie down in peace and sleep at night—not because I’ve cleared dry fuel from around the house, or packed up my grab-and-run tub, or checked weather conditions. But because God has gotten me through some serious issues in the past and proven Himself faithful.
He is worthy of my trust. Even if everything burns up. Even if the results hurt.
He is still faithful.
Listen here to MercyMe’s song, “Even If” and be encouraged by the faithfulness of our great God.
~I have no control over anything other than my response. Click To Tweet I can choose to live in fear, or I can choose to trust God. Click To Tweet
(c) 2018 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.