September 9, 2011
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor
rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
Yesterday my husband forwarded to me an e-mail from college-friends of ours. Our friends wrote to assure us of their personal safety and to confirm that they, along with so many others, had indeed lost everything they owned in recent fires which have spread across our state. The e-mail moved me to tears, not because our friends wrote of hopelessness or desperation, but because they wrote of abundant hope and joy amidst a true fire. I felt so inspired by their fireproof faith that I wanted to share some of what they wrote here with you.
The message began, First of all & most importantly, the family is safe and our faith in the Lord is stronger than ever! . . . all property was lost with the house &
belongings but again - the family is safe & that’s the blessing!
Their faith in the Lord is stronger than ever? Praise Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
The message continued, had 10 minutes to evacuate, taking only
a few belongings, two changes of clothes, 2 dogs, & 3 cats.
They described the aftermath as everything was incinerated
except some of the limestone rock, the slab, & the tin roof.
They explained the devastation to their children (and to us) as this, Sometimes it helps for all of us to take a childlike perspective on life’s curve-balls & faith in God: I simply told them that there was a bad forest fire and that our
house & all of our stuff was gone – but that’s okay b/c all of our
stuff came from the store. Also, our whole house came from the store in
little bitty pieces and some workers put them together to make a big
house. There are still stores and there is always more stuff. The most
important thing to remember is that you boys & mommy & daddy
came from God and we can’t be replaced! So as long as we have that,
we’ll be okay and we are blessed!
They are blessed? Praise God who pours out blessings too great to contain (Malachi 3:10).
The message continued, Kids react the way we react & at this point in life, they
believe what we believe. I’m thankful for that b/c we truly believe
this & it’ll really be okay. This is an inconvenience more than
anything – not some doomsday, life changing episode.
Kids believe what we believe? Praise God for parents who have committed themselves wholeheartedly to His commands; who repeat them again and again to their children; who do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so all will go well with them (Deuteronomy 6:6,18).
Our friends closed their message by sharing, not a personal address to which we could mail donations, but rather by sharing the address of their church saying, We have many needs but so do many others. Anything sent to this
fund will be distributed to those in need including [us] by people who are excellent stewards of these resources.
Placing concern for others above concern for themselves? Praise God for believers who meet together in one place and share everything they have, who sell their property and possessions and share the money with those in need (Acts 2:44-45).
Father I fall to my knees and thank you for instilling in our friends faith which withstands true fire. I pray you reward them and others like them boldly for their faith in you. Your Word promises that if we seek your kingdom first you will meet all of our needs (Matthew 6:33). You promise to supply our needs from your glorious riches which have been given to us through our relationship with Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Father, the need is great. I pray you meet the spiritual need by supplying the physical and emotional needs. Help us, Lord, move our hearts to lift in prayer those affected by the floods and fires, and to go, give and serve as the hands and feet of Your Son. I pray protection over those who go in Your Great Name. It is in the powerful, peace-giving name of Jesus I pray, Amen.