Last night I woke up to blaring sirens. When I opened my eyes, I realized that I could actually see the lights from my bedroom window. It turned out that a house about a half a block away was on fire. As I sat up in my bed and watched the firefighters work to put the fire out, I was reminded of another tragedy that occurred almost three months ago that took the lives of two boys that would’ve turned two less than a month later. Their house, only three down from mine, caught on fire in broad daylight two days before Christmas. Since my mom and I were the first ones on the scene, we saw and heard more than everyone but the firefighters. I will never be able to forget the screams of the mother whose children were still inside her burning house. Nearly 30 minutes later, we watched as the firefighters pulled out a lifeless little body, followed by another a few minutes later. Two lives were taken much too early on that tragic day, but I believe that even though I may not have been directly involved, God still put me there to experience those events for a reason.
Unfortunately, all too often I think we get comfortable where we are and can easily lose our fire for God. Yesterday on the radio, Chip Ingram from Living on the Edge was talking about how because God loves us so much, he will put things in our lives that may seem harsh to protect us from ourselves. Only God knows what we will do in the future if our situation does not change. Just like Chip said, God will let things in our life that will likely hurt us and nearly break us as a way of telling us that something needs to change. I also think that the tragedy doesn’t have to directly affect us for it to bring us to our knees, just like the fire I watched claim two innocent lives. That day broke my heart for the families involved, but it also made me realize that that could’ve just as easily been me or my family or someone else I cared about.
I’m not saying God is out to hurt us. The opposite is true – He is out to love us and protect us. But I am saying God will let things that will hurt us into our lives to help us grow.
A God-centered life is not an easy life. Life will never be easy for long, but a God-centered life is also truly rewarding if we choose to live it because of the unconditional love He will always provide. So let’s choose to look past the tragedy and the hurt and know that God has more in store for all of us. Let’s see the light.
(If you want to listen to Chip Ingram’s entire broadcast, copy and paste this link: http://livingontheedge.org/broadcasts/player?bid=75e7e1d3-7a6e-4445-8828-a7587323237a#.UynR3PSwIzM )
*I began writing this post in March and am just now finishing it, so please forgive the incorrect dates.