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Today’s Truth

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a, NIV).

Friend to Friend

Thunder cracked the sky when a lightning bolt ripped through the roof of our home, igniting a fire that redefined our normal that Tuesday night in March 2017. The house snapped dark and shook. It was as if a bomb had gone off.

“I think we got hit!” Hunter screamed from the family room. We hurried outside to see if it was true. Our neighbor Jeff ran across his yard to ours yelling a confirmation, “I think you got hit! I saw lightning hit your roof!”

The next few minutes were a blurry race against the clock. Get the dogs out! Get the cars out! I’ll grab the computers! And that’s pretty much all we had time for. The flames and smoke kicked us out of our home and far from warmth or comfort.

Sirens roared. Red lights flashed.

Fear and helplessness stood in the rain right beside me as I watched it all play out from across the street. My feet were naked. In the chaos and commotion, I didn’t think to put any shoes on. Someone noticed and placed a pair of leather boat shoes before me. I had no idea whose they were, but I gratefully slipped them on.

The minutes seemed like months in the moments between the arrival of the fire fighters and the point at which they had the hoses hooked up to a water source.

Hurry up, guys!

Flames raged wildly from my closet window. The house glowed bright with orange. Was this really happening?

Two trucks. Three. Four. Firemen running and shouting. Police on the scene. News cameras and reporters.

Why was it taking so long?

Neighbors everywhere. Soaked. Stunned. Standing in support. Offering prayers and a place to stay. They’d all felt the earth shake within their homes when ours was hit.

Once the fire was contained and fully out, we were allowed to go back in to grab a few personal items. It was almost 1am. Darkness hung thick in the air. It’s standard procedure for the power to be cut, so the firemen led us through the ashes, debris and water with handheld lights.

Our upstairs looked like a smoldering freight train had passed through, hurling darkness and destruction. Soot and debris were all around. Water and smoke everywhere. And ashes. Heaps and heaps of ashes. Could this really be our home?

Yet God’s peace was in the midst of it all, calming me. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a).

In that season of ashes God bid me to trust Him. Time and time again. In the frustration, exhaustion and tears. As I spent time in prayer, I sensed Him inviting me to trust His timing, His plan, His sovereignty and His ability to restore and make new.

Isaiah wrote: “This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland’” (Isaiah 43:16-19).

What former or fiery things have left you dwelling on the past?

Is there something or someone the Lord is bidding you to trust Him with today?

Maybe yours isn’t a house fire or literal ashes, but a prodigal child, a crumbling marriage or an aging parent? Maybe you’re passing through deep waters of a health battle, unemployment or a financial burden.

God is at work in the middle of every struggle and storm. Even when questions loom and pain is present. He is faithful and powerful, able to do more than you and I can ever ask for or imagine.

Let’s ask for and imagine a fresh rising of strength and hope today as we trust God’s goodness – even when our circumstances burn like fire and smell like smoke.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, You are faithful and good at all times. Thank You for promising to never leave or forsake Your children. Please strengthen me to face the fires before me today with courage and honor. Help me to trust You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read what God told His people in Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

How does this speak to you today? Click on comment and tell me or write a prayer of response.

More from the Girlfriends

SPECIAL OFFER: If today’s message is where you are and you need more practical help trusting God with your storms, check out Gwen’s book I Want It All. We’re offering a 20% OFF discount on the I Want It ALL book at our webstore when you use the coupon code: 20OFF.

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© 2020 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.

17 Responses to “When the Storm Brings Fire”

  1. Debi says:

    Today’s devotional is exactly what I needed to hear as I am dealing with my aging mother! Please keep me and my siblings in prayer!!!

  2. Priscilla says:

    This message speaks to me. You see, I too feel like I’m deep in a fire and burning like smoke. I am in a crumbling marriage. In September my husband and I have separated and I signed paperwork for a divorce. A mo th later On thanksgiving night, he wrapped himself around two trees and has severe brain injury. He now lays in a rehabilitation center for brain injuries. I have been his person through this process. I know my Lord is seeing me through because he will never leave me or forsake me. I know these are trials and with his holiness he will see me through.

  3. Andrea says:

    Priscilla, My prayers are with you. I pray that you will find peace and clarity. And I hope for the recovery of your husband.

    I understand feeling like fire is all around you. I am too in the midst of a divorce. Trying to recover from mental and verbal abuse while still enduring it. I never realized how hard that was. I knew I needed to leave. I thought it would be better when he was gone. But he is relentless. And some days I wonder if I will make it. God’s love is the only consistently thing in my life. I want better, I want better for my kids. He is guiding me. But sometimes it feels like it is taking forever.

  4. Susan says:

    My husband of 38 years passed away on December 22nd. I am going through the fire. I know God is with me. Today’s story w
    Seems as if it was written for me. Thank you.

  5. Bernadette says:

    I trust God and I trust His word.

  6. Sharon says:

    Oh Gwen, this is our story, literally! I remember contacting you back then, as our fire was January 2017, during a blizzard. I remember experiencing waiting for the firefighters to come, watching my house burn in the wind whipped snow. I also remember neighbors grabbing my hand for a place to stay. Clothes and shoes just appeared out of nowhere. When we were allowed back inside, God blessed me with scripture, literally. One came from a Christmas ornament that haphazardly fell off the counter into the ashes, it was a Peanuts ornament, that played Linuses famous speech from Luke, “Fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy” ring through the house!

  7. Hope R Cornwell says:

    Andrea & Priscilla, praying for you to lean heavily on Father God through your trials. You inspire me to persevere as you are both doing…trusting God in the fire.

    Gwen, thank you for encouraging us to not fear because waiting is hard…but God’s goodness is real & miracles are His everyday power.

  8. Sherh says:

    Oh Gwen, this is our story, literally! I remember contacting you back then, as our fire was January 2017, during a blizzard. I remember experiencing waiting for the firefighters to come, watching my house burn in the wind whipped snow. I also remember neighbors grabbing my hand for a place to stay. Clothes and shoes just appeared out of nowhere. When we were allowed back inside, God blessed me with scripture, literally. One came from a Christmas ornament that haphazardly fell off the counter into the ashes, it was a Peanuts ornament, that played Linuses famous speech from Luke, “Fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy” ring through the house! It was such an amazing blessing! We had so many God encounters that I should really right a book about my experience! Keep that in prayer for me, will you?

  9. Cathy says:

    To all of you ladies I want to assure you that there is hope! God is able to do more than we can ask or imagine and I am proof. I was in an abusive marriage for many years, clinging to God for strength. In His timing, He has changed my husband to become a man I prayed he would be! In November we celebrated 51 years of marriage. It would take hours to share the struggles and hurt I’ve been through, but God never left my side! Right now we are in a fire with heavy hearts for our granddaughter who is in the custody of darkness. Our hurting hearts believe and trust our loving God is in control! He has never failed us and I believe he will be glorified in this situation! Prayers for your strength and mine!

  10. Amanda says:

    I’m thankful for God’s strength,wisdom, his protection and his mercy. He has walked through our trials and fires before we did and is now using them for our good. I am comforted in knowing that what is seemingly a big fire to me (my marriage) is nothing for my Big God. Beauty for my ashes, the same resurrection power still abides. Blessings to you all.

  11. Lynne says:

    I really needed to hear (read) this message today. Thank you for the reminder that God never leaves us or forsakes us! I have been doubting! Too much going on at one time. . . My daughter is in the middle of an ugly divorce, my sister is in the final days of her battle with cancer, and last night I found out my son is moving across the country! Prayers would be greatly appreciated!

  12. Sophia says:

    Thanks for the Words of comfort. I’ve being going through years of abuse from my son. God has being faithful in keeping me through all the storms he has put me through. I trust the Lord to deliver one day in his timing

  13. Judy says:

    Prayer changes things. My first marriage was very abusive. I’m thankful that God protected me and didn’t allow me to do what I felt like doing. It also had a serious impact on my son. God can do anything but fail. Some marriages are repaired but others aren’t. I found it wasn’t to be and went on with my life. I was blessed to marry someone else and he helped me raise my son whose attitude improved but not perfect. Wouldn’t want it to be. Keep the faith to those facing marital challenges and I’m praying for you.

  14. Ramon says:

    I needed this! I’m crying my eyes out! The weight of the fear/burdens /hope is to much! I need to release it all to our God! Prayers for my family, each one is such in need and I am the glue trying to hold it all together. Thank you, I’ve asked Him to see each each struggle. Husband, son and daughter all need some light!

  15. patrice says:

    This was not sent at a more perfect time i prayed for my daughters to come home God worked it out quicker tban i could imagine. now they are here the task is harder than i can handle they are at each others throat then they dnt want to speak to one another callin each otber names i did everything so them an their kids could hav a good christmas but everyone just same ungrateful lord help me dnt no what to do next

  16. Denise says:

    Dear Gwen
    Your email this morning was an answer to my prayers!
    22 years ago today I almost died as I had a stroke that day. God gave me the same scripture that He gave you from Isaiah. I was in tears this morning!
    Also because I am going through such a challenging marriage/ for over 19 years.
    Now and then- depending on how things are going- I come to the end of my rope, as I did last night.
    Your email brought hope to my heart today.
    God is so faithful!
    Thank you Gwen. God bless you’

  17. Beloved says:

    Please pray for me my daughters father may leave me today. He’s been hinting at it. I need to trust God will sustain us even without a physical husband and father since God has been both to us. I don’t know what will happen but please pray for strength and that I can show my daughter how to lean on God for all our needs. Thank you praying for everyone else too God is with you 🙂

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