Lessons from a Fire

Not Your Average Monday

There’s a joke in my family that I’m the only one in the world that likes Mondays. Monday is my day off. A day to do piddly things around the house and just relax in the quietness. Last Monday was no different. In the early afternoon I was sitting in my office, working on finishing my BSF Bible study, paying some bills, and enjoying the quiet in my home.

I received a phone call around 1:30pm in the afternoon from a girlfriend telling me that there was a fire in my backyard. I didn’t get too excited. Since I’d been home all day, surely I would know if there was a fire in my backyard! I calmly sauntered up to the edge of my fence, and saw that there was smoke not 10 feet from my back fence line. At the time, I still didn’t realize what was really going on, didn’t seem like that big of a deal.

Unfortunately, my girlfriend was right. It was a huge deal. A fire had been started by a local construction company, and the winds had shifted, making my home and the neighbors on either side of me, the focal point of the raging fire. Shortly after getting off the phone with my girlfriend, I began grabbing things, once again evacuating my house. One of the downsides of backing up to BLM land.

I stopped quickly to call my mom and husband and told them to rush over to help me evacuate. Made a phone call to Pastor Dan’s wife, to ask her to pray for me, and then continued to load things into my vehicle. Shortly after those phone calls a firefighter knocked on my door – pounded is probably a better word – and he said, “Grab what you need, do it quickly. You have five minutes.”

Fast forward to this week – our firefighters in the Reno/Sparks area are amazing! There was no earthly reason why the fire stopped where it did. It’s like God drew a line in my backyard and everything west of my back fence is charred and black, and everything east of my fence, including my home, is pristine. I thank God for His grace and mercy that He chose to bestow on our family!

A Lesson Learned

One week ago, I was sitting in my office working on my Bible study. I was completely oblivious to the fact that there was a raging fire going on in my own backyard. I wonder if that’s how we live our lives in many ways. We assume since we don’t focus on something it must not be there; it must not be happening. Whether I knew about the fire, didn’t change its existence or its fury. If we sit idly and don’t see or think about our salvation or need for Christ – that doesn’t mean it’s not there. It doesn’t mean it goes away. It doesn’t mean it’s “fine.”

I also think about my girlfriend. She did not just call me to let me know that there was a fire in my backyard. She called my cell phone, called my home phone, and eventually called my parents. No matter what, she was determined to make sure I knew how eminent the danger was. Do we do that with our friends concerning Christ? Do we call them, repeatedly, in a Christlike way, to make sure they understand the eminence of their danger?

Ephesians 6:12 says “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

We spend so much time worrying about the forces here on earth that are against us. People, circumstances. Instead, God has shown me that I really need to be focused on our true enemy, the dark forces working against us. The evilness that is our true enemy, Satan. And God has shown me my responsibility in making sure that I don’t give up. Whether it takes three phone calls, or a million, I don’t give up on those who I love – until they fully understand their dire circumstances.

Our God is a gracious God, and can use the worst circumstances to draw us closer to Him. I’m so thankful that He chose to save our home. But I’m even more thankful that He chose to wake me up this Monday, and show me how much I can learn from a fire.