Something I have said half jokingly for years is “not only am I the best fire builder you know, I’m the best fire builder anyone you know knows”. When describing camp fires I have said many times that, “something amazing happens around a camp fire that doesn’t happen anywhere else”. I enjoy a good camp fire, I enjoy the beauty and warmth the process of building it, even the process of dousing it when it’s over. I enjoy, in a healthy way, fire. However I may not have respected it enough, I was around it too often and I got too comfortable with it and forgot what a destructive force it could be. You would think I would know better, I mean I have a blog post about how my dad pulled me from a burning car which you can read here. Hero Dad
Being around fire so often I did get too complacent about it’s power, and although I try to not over spiritualize every situation this one draws a pretty good line. We do this all the time with God, we remember the warmth and goodness of our Lord and Savior. We think about the light He brings into our lives and forget He is Holy, or as the Bible describes:
Deuteronomy 4:24 “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God”
Hebrews 12:29 “for our God is a consuming fire.”
And if you want to read a story about getting too accustomed to being around Holy things and then getting burned have a look at Leviticus 10. My point is God is all powerful and we really don’t get a glimpse of that very often but I am not exaggerating in the least that when I looked back into our living room when I was disoriented in our house and I saw the power of that fire, I think I got a sense of what Isaiah saw in the temple. The power and Majesty that knocked him to his knees and what Moses saw on Mt. Sinia, what the disciples saw at the transfiguration. It was devastating and powerful and all consuming and I was afraid. It’s with this in mind that we should approach God, knowing that He loves us but that He is also all powerful.
I have shared the fire story about 4 billion times at this point, and I honestly still enjoy sharing it. Last night Bronwynand I went to dinner with some dear friends of ours and we were sharing the story with them separately but were in different places but still sharing it exactly the same. They finally asked us to sync up so we could share it in stereo. The point is we have shared it a lot. But it’s been great, God has used this powerful event to help us tell our story and ultimately be glorified. People have asked if I’ve had any PTSD since it happened and honestly not really. The first night we stayed in a hotel on the third floor I had the slightest worry about fire and being up so high and the first time I was around open flame at Cracker Barrel of all places I had a moment of flashback. I had a few bad dreams early on and maybe the slightest trouble sleeping, but those of you who know me know I don’t sleep much anyway. I don’t think I’ll have any lingering effects, I still love fire. I still can’t wait to build bon fires at camp and sit around camp fires and see the amazing things that happen. Ultimately I view all of this as a positive experience. It’s not the way I would have chosen for all of this to happen but I know God has been all over it and used it in mighty ways.
Thanks for all your prayers! We leave for Kenya in 10 days!