Have you been through a fire?
Six years ago today, our family experienced a house fire of the parsonage (losing our material possessions with no rental insurance to replace personal losses), yet saved was everything that really matters - our family!
Through people in the community, through people in churches across the country, and through dear family members, our material needs were all replaced in time.
The church insurance recovered the loss of house and property, and our small church purchased a more updated parsonage which we feel very blessed to serve from. It is a lovely place.
But... I'm not asking you if you've experienced a literal house fire. Believe me, a house fire brings many other fires as one walks through the process of shock and recovery.
There are fires in life that are much deeper and more costly than a house fire, though house fires are devastating. These fires offer no alert to anyone and no dedicated firemen to control the burn. There is no water to dowse the flames. There are no rescue sirens signaling help is coming. There are not friends showing up helping you sort through the rubble. They may not even know the depth of loss you are experiencing. There's just a consuming, hot fire - a big mess - that seems a total loss.
How could our good God allow this bad affliction?Afterall, He knows my heart and that I love Him! How could God bring any good or receive any glory from the destructive flames - from the smeltering ashes? Nothing is normal as we knew it. All smells distinctly of smoke. I feel I have nothing left to offer God or anyone.
I cannot theologically give a discourse on how God brings beauty out of ashes except by my belief in His perfect Word and in His life-giving, redeeming character.
My faith may falter, but my God never fails! When my faith is tested, and I choose to hold fast to my faith, I find that God is holding me... even when I'm questioning. He will never let me go, therefore I can "hold fast" to my faith in Christ without wavering because He is a constant Who holds me tight.
He is a faithful God and with Him, I am rock-solid secure with Him no matter what happens on my earthly journey.
He is proven true, and can be trusted. As we go with God through our individual fires in life, figuratively, our faith is strengthened as the dross decreases.
So, let us hold fast without wavering to our faith in a personal, loving God Who cannot fail or make mistakes.