I saw a house on fire today. It’s not something you see every day — or want to see every day. In fact, I’d probably be okay to never see something like that again. It was a sucker punch to the gut kind of moment.
I could see the smoke when I was still miles away, so I knew something was up. Then I saw the flames.
I caught myself thinking, “I can’t imagine what that must be like.”
I have no previous experience that could help me to comprehend something like that. I mean I could sympathize to a point, but I have no concept of standing in front of my home watching all my possessions go up in flames. To know that old photos and scrapbooks and childhood mementos are forever lost. That’s something that I can’t wrap my brain around.
I was reminded of the verse that says that in my weakness, God’s power is perfected. In times of my own utter helplessness, that’s when God really shows up.
I know in those moments when we’re helpless as we watch our home burning or a loved one in their last moments of life, we feel completely and totally helpless. There’s not a thing we can do. If you’re not there already, it’s probably something that has haunted you, gnawing at the back of your mind as a kind of nameless fear.
Maybe you think if that moment ever came, there’s no way that you could make it through. But when the moment comes, we so often find that we are carried through. Somehow, we can look back from the other side and see that we survived. That worst scenario becomes the moment when God becomes so very real and present.
We do find that God really is our refuged and strength, a very present help in the midst of trouble. We find that we can lean on those everlasting arms. We know that peace that passes all understanding and that casts out all fear.
I don’t ever wish those moments on anyone, but they do come. When they come, that’s when you find out how great and strong and good God is. That’s when you discover joy in the midst of great sorrow and loss. That’s when God shows up.