What I Lost In The Fire

Jon Burgess


But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. Psalm 146:5-6


The God who can hold heaven and earth can certainly hold the ones that matter most to me right? He's not just sitting about it all. It's clear from the list of the Psalmist that God is intimately involved in helping us where we are hopeless:

* Justice to the oppressed

* Food to the hungry

* Freedom to the prisoners

* Sight to the blind

* Help to the fallen

* Love to His people

* Protection to strangers

* Defense for the orphan & widow

* Destruction to the plan of the wicked (Psalm 146:7-9)

He does all of this all the time. So why do I still freak out when things happen that are outside of my control?


It was 8:19 on Sunday night and I had just helped the boys light a fire in our fire pit where we were going to rost some sausages on sticks (it's what you do when Mom is away on the Mainland). I looked at my phone and noticed a text from Cyndi that made no sense. It was 11:19 where she was staying with her family in Kenwood, California and our text chain read as follows:

"Fire please pray" What?


"Fire right behind the house and really strong winds. Had to evacuate." Where are you going to stay?

Where are you going to stay?

"I don't know bubba. Winds are really bad."

Can you talk? (the reception was really spotty and Cyndi was stuffed with 7 family members and a large dog in a car that seated 5. The minute that I could talk to her shook me to the core as I heard the panic in her voice)

"No pretty sure Dad's house is gone already."


"Leaving Aunt Jona's place- fire moving this way too."

Where's her house?

"Santa Rosa"

Ok, where to next?

"Evacuating to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds" (they were told by the 911 operator to go there but there was no one there so they had to keep driving)

I'm so sorry I can't hold you right now but Jesus is. I have a lot of people praying.

"Thanks baby"

The feeling I felt over that torturous night of "not-knowing" was the same feeling I had almost nine years ago. The doctors and nurses on duty had just rolled Cyndi into the operating room at the hospital to perform an emergency C-section to save the lives of our Twins who were coming 3 months premature. The door closed and I was left alone in looking at a door feeling completely helpless and useless. But, I wasn't hopeless and I most certainly wasn't alone. I began to text everyone I knew who prayed (many of the same people I texted Sunday night). I couldn't help her. I couldn't hold her. I was a door apart then. I was an ocean apart now. The same God who helped her and saved my Twins then was the same God who would help her and save my family now. The God who held oceans was holding my wife. By a miracle of God my father-in-law did not lose his house even though houses right next door were burnt to the ground. None of my family was hurt during the all-night ordeal. I did lose some things in the fire though. What I lost in the fire that night was my fear. My God is trustworthy. What I lost in the fire the night was a false sense that I am somehow in control. I can't hold the heavens and earth in my hands, but He can. I can't even hold my family and friends in my hands, but He can. God alone is in control. What I lost in the fire was a false sense of value and worth. What mattered most that night was nothing that could be bought or sold. What mattered most was the precious souls that will never burn because they have been bought by the Blood of Jesus and will spend eternity in heaven. What I lost in the fire I hope to never find again.


Prayer works because our God works out what we cannot. Let’s keep lifting up California in prayer: Hundreds of weary firefighters, battling one of the most devastating outbreaks of wildfires in California history, braced early Wednesday for the return of gusty winds that carried with them the promise to spread blazes that have already killed at least 17 people, burned 3,500 homes and other structures and charred at least 190,000 acres. Pray for the families who have lost loved ones, homes and having nothing to return to. Pray for rain and containment. Pray for the local churches to provide hope and healing and refuge in this time of loss. #prayforcalifornia#prayerworks

Devotions for October 11

Nehemiah 5,6
Psalms 146
Luke 24

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