Wednesday, June 27, 2012


My hometown is on fire.

Every time I get on Facebook, my news feed flashes with pictures and updates. My last piano teacher, a beautiful lady who loves music and loves Jesus, has been evacuated from her home. The Flying W ranch is burned to the ground. Over 30,000 people have been evacuated.

The brain is numb. I am thankful that my parents, my older siblings and their families, all live on the east side of Colorado Springs; they are not in any danger. Something inside me wishes to be back there, to see the pluming, spewing smoke over my beloved mountains, to draw close to the kindling Colorado which has been my home for most of my life as if somehow being there could make a difference. I resent the fact that I am safe here in Texas with nothing to fear but an over-abundance of crickets, even while I am grateful for our safety.

I pray for rain. For rain, God! You are bigger than the inferno, and a word from You would open the floods of the skies. Why doesn't it stop?

The Pilot hugged me and whispered, "Let's pray," and we did, and I felt my heart pounding rebelliously, afraid to voice the words that flamed in my mind: Why don't You stop it?

"I don't understand," I said.

"I know," he said. "But God is good. Sometimes we have to trust."

Trusting is easy when life is smooth and placid. It is harder when I feel stretched, pulled taught, spread thin, frantically trying to stop up the holes in the boat that's leaking in the churning rapids. A move in four weeks for which we still have no orders, a dreaded twenty-page paper due for my least-favorite class, and the wildfires are spreading in the city that I love. Not to mention the crickets.

Really, God?

He says back to me, "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you." (1st Peter 4:12).

But I want to be surprised. I want to view all of this as very strange, as abnormal, as not part of the plan. I want to believe that I am entitled to a smooth, easy, fun, worry-free life. I want to believe that I am owed that.

He won't let me. "But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed."

It's what Ann Voskamp told me in One Thousand Gifts, it's what Beth Moore is telling me in her study of James that the other pilots' wives and I are going through, it's the Creator Himself who's telling me: "But- rejoice."

That isn't exactly the word that comes to mind when I look at the burning pictures.


Find joy.

Give thanks.

He says will reveal His glory through all this. I don't know how. I want Him to reveal His glory by bringing a thunderous rainstorm to Colorado the like of which no one has ever seen, to quench the fires and save the mountains and the city from further destruction. I want Him to reveal His glory by making the orders magically appear on Nate's desk tomorrow morning. I want Him to reveal His glory by giving me a shot of divine inspiration for this paper so that it isn't difficult to write. I have very specific ideas in my head of how God should reveal His glory.

But then... so did everyone else, who couldn't believe that the Savior could come born into poverty and misery. So did Peter, who couldn't believe that Jesus could possibly be glorified through His crucifixion. All throughout history, God has been revealing His glory through the most unexpected things.

I don't understand.

I found a quote by Elisabeth Elliot which says: "God is God. Because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will, a will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to."

Even my vastest conjectures cannot put a boundary around what God is up to. He doesn't ask me to understand– only to trust.

On my bathroom mirror, months ago, I taped an index card on which I'd written a quote from Ann Voskamp: God is always good, and I am always loved.

"God is good," my husband said quietly to me.

His words are the grace that comes in and through the fire.  And God whispers, "Listen."

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