Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hail To The Lord's Anointed"1 (Lyrics)
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (NLT)
Here in British Columbia, Canada, the forest fires of this past summer were the worst in the history of the province. Over 1.2 million hectares of forest and pastureland, and many homes and businesses, were consumed. Livestock and wildlife were lost, thousands of people were evacuated, lives and livelihoods were disrupted, and many still suffer from the effects. Here is one part of the story.
Our fire, the Gustafsen fire, began on July 6th. It spread rapidly from just north of the town of 100 Mile House, burning homes in the 105 Mile residential area, and threatening those in the 103 Mile subdivision. Within four hours, it raced fourteen kilometres (almost nine miles) north to the very edge of 108 Mile Ranch, the large subdivision of over 700 homes and a number of businesses. All of these areas were evacuated, and the town of 100 Mile House was put on evacuation alert.
In 108 Mile, the fire took two homes. The smoke and heat were intense, and the high winds bore the fire down onto the subdivision. The first responders — fire fighters and police — were notified to pull back for their own protection. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers who had just been relieved, gathered together at the detachment headquarters in 100 Mile. There the corporal told them that he had just been advised that the situation at the subdivision (where many of their own homes were) was now so dangerous that 108 Mile could not be saved: it had to be abandoned to the flames. Reserve Constable Clint Lange, retired from the RCMP and now pastor of Hillside Community Church, suggested that the one thing which could be done would be to pray. They all gathered in a huddle, and Pastor Clint asked God for mercy, and that He would stop the fire which no one could stop.
They prayed — and that was the moment when the wind abruptly ceased, then swung 180 degrees and started blowing from the opposite direction. The flames blew back on the already burnt forest — and went out. That alone saved 108 Mile Ranch.
How can this speak to us? God is good, and God is great. But as you and I know, sometimes, it's just plain hard to see God's hand in some events of our lives. Nonetheless, today's Scripture is true, as He goes with us through each day, along the paths of our lives.
Prayer: Our loving Father, Jesus our Saviour and Friend, Holy Spirit our Comforter, help us to trust in You and to know Your presence even through the trials of life. Amen.