Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fire in the Neighborhood

Last night a home on our street caught on fire. Precisely two houses down from our home. Fortunately the fire was contained to the detached garage and storage shed. No life was endangered. Not so fortunate though, this is the fourth time a fire has started on this property. Arson is suspected by the officials. Our neighborhood is on high alert.

Last night was the worst scenario experienced thus far. Flames could be seen. Thick smoked filled the street and neighborhood. Numerous fire trucks were present. These brave firefighters responded promptly, yet it took several hours to completely extinguish the fire due to the size. A structure built of wood burns quickly.

This is a photo I took with my cell phone from the alley.

Fires are frightening. I’ve personally experienced a fire in my own home eight years ago. I remember the feeling of fear I felt for months. The smell of the smoke permeated everything in the home. The smoke smell is difficult to remove. I took action to help alleviate those fears. I had more smoke detectors installed. I had several fire extinguishers mounted throughout the home.

When I stepped outside this morning to water my flowers, I smelled the charred smoke in the breeze. I remembered those days in my own home when I smelled smoke each day and felt fear.

Concern Fear is among the neighbors at this point. Is this going to happen again? When? Why is this happening? The fire chief told my neighbor that according to the profile of an arsonist, he/she will return to the scene until the desired result is achieved. This time the fire started while most people were awake. Other times, the fire occurred during the night while most people are sleeping. Already, this arsonist has committed felony as previously the house has caught fire with the resident in the home.

Proverbs 17:3

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests the heart.

Scripture tells us that we’ll be tested by fire. What is inside us? Will we burn up like a wood structure? Or will we be refined and shine like gold?

What kind of spiritual fires are we dealing with? How are we going to come through? At this time, our neighborhood is dealing with an antagonist who seemingly wants to cause damage or worse. God instructs us in HIS word to pray for our enemy and to bless them.

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Romans 12: 14 NIV

Last night I smelled like smoke after standing outside and helping where I could. But I know of three who were put in the fire and afterwards they did not smell like smoke-- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three amigos refused to bow down to the gold image. They had faith that their God could deliver them and even if he didn’t, they would not bow down. The king threw them in a fiery furnace. God did deliver them. No harm to their bodies; not a single hair on their head singed; and there was no smell of smoke or fire on them!! (Daniel 3:16-27)

Tests will come. How will we walk through the furnace? Will we walk with the kind of faith that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had? Do we have that kind of faith?

God is able—

  • to keep our neighborhood from harm & protect us
  • to change the heart of the person committing this crime

Blessings in Christ--

10 gracious comments:

Alene said...

Girl, I am praying for you all. Yes God will take away your fears and worries in Jesus name. And at Jesus name the arsonist will bow. Lord let him/her turn from his wicked ways today. Shonda, God's protection is upon you, your family and your neighborhood. AMEN.

Ang baylis said...

They did not smell of smoke! I love that reminder. It's still scary, though! I'll keep you ALL in my prayers!
Love,
Angie xoxo

Lisa a.k.a. The Preacher's Wife said...

How terrible! Praying the culprit is caught quickly and that you and your neighborhood remain safe. Who an understand the minds of the wicked?

annie's eyes said...

Fires are so scary. My son was evacuated for the Daytona fires a few weeks ago and he kept calling home. I could hear the worry in his voice as he reassured us. Fires of the heart are another matter, but nonetheless, frightening--praying for the arsenist's heart, and for your safety. Love, Annette

littlerad said...

Shonda,
I want to thank you for the prayers... I understand the fear of fire, I caught on fire when I was 4, the flames were leaping off my body as I ran to my mother, I still remember the smell of my burning clothes and flesh... Lord brought me through it and he will bring others through things like this as well... I don't fear fire any more, becuase even if it was to kill my scared body, it cna't take away my soul...
So I will keep you all in my prayers, and I will lift up the arsenist, he or she needs God and that is what I will pray for...
I pray that you all have a great week...
Connie
GBU

Starla said...

I'll pray that God keeps his hand on everyone and that you all will feel safe.

HIS Daughter said...

Shonda,

Thank you for your kind words on my blog. I am sorry you were "scammed" as well, but I know GOD used mine for HIS purposes and good. HE can redeem a mess, praise HIS Holy Name! I don't know your circumstances, but from what I "see and read" in your life now, GOD redeemed yours as well!!

I am praying for your you and your neighbors. I pray for GOD to replace all of the fear with HIS peace. I have battled fear all of my life and GOD has shown me that I still have areas where I do not trust completely.

He knows we are weak in our natural flesh, but through HIS Spirit living in us, we can know that HE is in charge and HE is able to keep us no matter what may come.

I have had fiery trials and I still fear them, but the Father always tells me to look back and see that I am much stronger than I think I am.

Praying for you!
Teri

Karen H TX said...

Wow, what a thing to witness and be concerned with. I will be keeping your family and neighbors in my prayers. Hopefully the authorities will be able to catch whoever is responsible. The Lord knows who they are and no one can escape from Him. Blessings to you sister, Karen

Mocha with Linda said...

Oohh, that's awful - hope they catch the arsonist soon.

I love that story in Daniel. . . from the "even if He does not" to the fact that they didn't even smell of smoke. What an incredible God we serve!!

MrsProverbs31 said...

Wow! So close to home. You are in my prayers. Isa. 54:17.

I love your application of the fire.