MIRACLES ON THE FIRE-LINE
After hearing news of California Firestorm all the way from Colombia, Marcy Macmillan co-pastor of Comunidad Cristiana de Fe wrote me and said, “I look forward to hearing the testimonies that come out of this…” She was the first one in the midst of all the fear, confusion, panic, and disarray to suggest testimonies will follow. My mind shifted away from news reports of damage and devastation, to see what might be happening behind the scenes.
Melissa, a recent parolee from Rainbow, was the first one to share with me. In one of the shelters from the fire where we volunteered to serve a group of 30 some supper, there was a young, pregnant mother there. As we poked our heads into the sanctuary where their sleeping bags were strewn across the floor, under the pews, and along the isles, Melissa began to share the hope of her faith in the Lord with this young displaced mom and within minutes she prayed to receive Christ into her heart. Times of crises bring both the prisoners who fight the fires, and those displaced from their homes to a new reliance on a power greater than themselves.
Stories the fire-fighters shared with us continued to reveal more going on behind the scenes. One woman who talked with us at our service is a “saw” on the fire crew. This is the person who carries a heavy chain saw and cuts through wild brush to create a walking path for the fire-fighters. The wind and smoke was so intense she could barely see through the grey haze. She lost her bearings standing at the edge of a steep cliff. Two gals had already been thrown off it but were able to stabilize themselves because they did not have heavy equipment on their back. As the forceful wind pulled her chainsaw towards the cliff she could feel herself being swept backwards. She said she felt “a hand” against her back pushing her upright as she was falling. She caught her balance and was able to fall forward to her knees avoiding being thrown down the mountain. There was no one there.
The second miracle reported has a slightly humorous twist to it. This fire-fighter was “visiting the commode” in the open air as she put it on the mountainside during a wind storm and suddenly she heard something crashing down towards her. One of her fellow fire-fighters yelled, “Get out of the way, boulder rolling down!” A huge rock was tumbling down the mountain right towards her. “It was so big it could have broke my back,” she said. She did not know which way to move because she could not see. She said she did not recall moving in time but she ended up outside the path of the rock by mere inches. It hit another rock next to her and cracked into pieces. She was telling us that she did not move yet the rock rolled over the exact path she was doing her business!
Angels on the fire-line? I don’t doubt it. And the miracles didn’t stop there! Two women with pain last night, tired and exhausted from fighting fires — had pain in their back and another in her knee. We all laid hands on them and the one with the back pain said she felt “heat and very relaxed.” She reported her back was at least 50 % better. We continued to pray for the gal with the knee pain. She too reported it was better. We figured if it was getting better that possibly it could be gone!.. I felt the strangest sensation of her knee popping under my hand as I held it on her knee and continued to pray. She looked at me and said, “This is weird. My leg feels tingly from the knee down to my foot. ” She stood up. “The pain is gone!” This was an evening of extraordinary faith because of all that had happened on the firelines. It was enthralling to say the least.
Testimonies. All that means is, “To say again.” God is good. We just ask for what we need. We come as little children asking Daddy to make it better… and He does.
May the Lord sovereignly be known as a good God, through these horrific fires that have taken everything for some, and for other kinds of fires like addiction, death, loss which have taken just as devastatingly and may He bring a new and solid hope for the future.
Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower.”