Monday, October 29, 2007

The California Fires - God shows up in big ways

My wife and I have some friends, John and Elizabeth, who lost their home last week in the California fires. They received a knock on their door at 5:00AM on Sunday morning and had to evacuate their house within 10 minutes. They had time to get their two young children out, an extra change of clothes, and their wedding photo album. That’s it. As they drove out of their neighborhood their car was being hit with large burning embers as homes were going up in flames around them. John said it was like a scene from Dante’s Inferno. They later received reports from friends who saw their house on national news reports burned to the ground. You might have seen those pictures on Fox News of the home burned to the ground with a cradle in the front yard.

As Paul Harvey would say, now for the rest of the story. Recently, Elizabeth has been having some significant dreams. A little over 2-weeks ago, one of those dreams involved her children, my wife and my children. The children were in serious danger and our wives were feverishly getting them into the car so that they could escape the danger. The dream was rather intense. Elizabeth and my wife, Velvet, have subsequently been on the phone together several times in prayer and intercession for the kids.

Soon thereafter, John had an encounter with God that can only be described as an interaction with an angel. While John was walking down the hallway to pick up his children from their Sunday school classes he approached a rather scruffy-looking, older man wearing a Green Bay Packers hat. The man looked a little out of place. Upon passing, the man spoke these words to my friend, “John, don’t worry, it’s going to be ok. Your family will be provided for.” Stunned by the strange man knowing his name and by his comments, John quickly turned around to take another look at the man in the Green Bay Packers hat, but he was nowhere to be found. (Don’t let the Packers hat throw you off).

God revealed some pretty incredible things to our friends and prepared them for the dramatic event which was about to happen in their lives. First, he warned them of danger which resulted in much prayer and spiritual warfare. He then gave them a hope and peace that they were going to be safe and provided for.

Longtime devoted followers of Christ, Elizabeth and John have recently been open to the new things God has for them. I believe this openness allowed them to experience this incredible interaction with God. God is a very personal God and very much wants to be intimately involved in our lives. God loves us, cares for us, and wants to be this real in all of our lives.

Here is the latest from John:
The home was completely lost, but the firefighters were so gracious to pull out all their pictures and memories from the home and placed them safely in the front yard. Their insurance company, State Farm, is being very helpful and financially they will be more than provided for. John said that “all that stuff has been pruned from our lives and in every sense of the word He has provided.” He added that “I shouldn’t be, but I am floored by the amazing power of God… Even when you know He has something on the table for you, it is something entirely different. It is bigger. It is going to be painful (to rebuild and settle back into life), but the outcome will be bigger and better than was imagined.”

God is a big God and a very personal God. He is sovereign and loving. My prayer is that he will show himself to so many others as a result of these fires. May what the enemy meant for evil be used for God’s glory. This has happened in the lives of John and Elizabeth. May their story and the other incredible God stories associated with these fires bring many to know the reality and love of Christ. May one of the results of these fires be a new fire for Christ in the lives of many.


Anita Hensley said...

hey the Packers are known for miracles. see last nights game!!

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