This is a hard post to write. As I’m sitting here, typing this out, the news is continuing to report sad and disparaging information regarding the fire that is consuming part of my city. My heart is in a constant state of breaking for those who have lost so much. Friends, family, acquaintances are all effected by the inferno. Everyone in this city is effected in one way or another. It’s easy to see why God uses fire to illustrate such pain and suffering in the Bible. It is truly a horrifying scene to watch. There’s nothing productive to say, so instead, I will just pray.
I pray for the those who have lost their homes. Many are displaced, some temporarily, some permanently. They fled their homes with very little in hand, some with nothing. Some never made it home, and are forced now into an uncertain world with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. I pray that they will find some sort of blessing in the midst of destruction, that they will be lifted up, encouraged, helped, and blessed beyond anything they’ve known before.
I pray for those who still don’t know. They sit idly by, helpless against the flames threatening the material proof of their lives. There’s no confirmation that their homes are gone, there’s no news at all. I pray that they receive the comfort and peace they so desperately need.
I pray for those who are fighting the blaze, risking their lives to protect the homes and lives of those in the fire’s path. They tirelessly work to subdue the blaze and bring peace and safety back to the city. They don’t think about their actions, they just do what they’ve been trained to do. I pray that they will receive a supernatural strength to help them continue a fight that so often seems like a losing battle.
I pray for those reporting the news, working overtime to keep people informed, trying their best to tell us the discouraging news, all the while attempting to inspire hope. I pray that they will receive wisdom to tell us what needs to be said with tenderness and grace.
I pray for those who are volunteering to help, who have taken in pets and people. Like so many others, they give everything they have to help those who have lost everything they have. I pray that they will be blessed for their caring.
I pray for the land, smoldering under the heat of the blaze. The forested terrain has been laid barren. Trees are fallen, houses leveled, roads destroyed. I pray for rejuvenation and growth to exceed the previous beauty of those majestic trees.
I pray for those flying blindly through the air, dumping water and fire retardant into the inferno. They risk as much as anyone as they fly directly over the fire to provide assistance for those on the ground. I pray that their planes fly true and that their bravery will never be forgotten or diminished.
I pray for those in the city, those not evacuated, those with homes and the comforts of home. I pray that they will experience gratitude and contentment the likes of which they’ve never known.
I pray for the believers, for those of us who follow Christ. I pray that we will step up to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Don’t let us fall into the trap that words and inspirational photos are enough. Help us stand up for Christ by helping those in need.
There’s nothing more that I can say. There are no words of comfort other than those written in the Scriptures. And my final prayer is that the Gospel of Christ is spread in spite of this tragedy, providing the hopeless with hope, the anxious with peace, the devastated with encouragement, and the destroyed with new life.
I pray that the peace of God that passes all understanding will reveal itself to those who need it most. I pray that God will be evident in the midst of tragedy and that He will bring people to Him. Amen.