Today's Thoughts: Living through the San Diego Fires
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. Isaiah 43:3 During the worship session at a retreat, I showed Bobbye the verses from Isaiah 43:1-3. Well, the very next song that the worship leader played quoted the very same passage of Scripture in Isaiah. We knew that the Lord was getting our attention. God was speaking to us through the Scriptures. After the worship was over, Bobbye and I were next on the schedule to speak. We shared with the ladies the passage in Isaiah 43, knowing that "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established." We did not realize the significance these verses would soon have. This was one of those times that we had ears to hear but it was difficult to discern if the message was literal or figurative. We all seemed to be content with believing that there are no coincidences with God and He uses people to speak and confirm His Words to others, through others. No one that I knew of, including myself, asked the Lord to clarify this message any further. In hindsight, we should have been asking, seeking and knocking to not only know His Word but to also know His Will. Why was He was giving these verses to us? Are the verses for our spiritual well being or are these verses God's Will to be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven…today? The reason for the verses became perfectly clear as we headed down the mountain.
On Sunday morning, the Santa Ana winds were so strong we had difficulty packing up the car. Little did we know that Isaiah 43:2 was not only a promise but a prophecy that was about to be fulfilled that day in all of our lives. Heading down the mountain, we heard that the fires had begun. We were about to be evacuated from our homes because of the fires and some of us would literally be "walk[ing] through the fire" as Isaiah 43:2 clearly states. At one given time, there were eight fires destroying the County of San Diego. Because fire is no respecter of persons, no one knew whose house would be next and no one could predict the path the fires would take. But we did know that God cared and that God had warned us up on the mountain. His desire was for us to know that He was with us, that these fires did not surprise Him, and He did not want us to fear. God speaks to us to comfort us and to bring peace regardless of the circumstance. The problem today is not that God is not speaking but that we are not listening. God wants us to know. He reveals His plans to His servants (Amos 3:7). God is willing to speak but are we ready to listen?
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