Fire engines rushed noisily down the small street curving through my town-house neighborhood. I looked out my window to see that the screaming sirens had woken up most of our community, and now people in their pajamas hurried towards a house down the road. I grabbed a coat and went to join them around the scene. Smoke billowed from the top story of a town-home similar to my own. Most of the windows had been broken in an attempt to remove some of the heat and smoke. A steady stream of water ran down the street because of the massive fire hoses the firemen had been forced to use a few minutes ago. The men hustled in and out of the house, some carrying what few things could be salvaged – a parakeet, furniture that had been obstructing their work, and some unrecognizable items. Apparently the family was not at home. I kept thinking how terrible it would be to return to a home destroyed by a chance fire.
The next morning, the family, a middle-aged couple, stood outside surveying the damage. This place where they had built there lives for the last few years now bore the marks of the fire that had destroyed it. In just a few hours, their lives had changed forever.
Have you ever had to watch your life go up in flames? Maybe in not such an obvious way as this family did. But things like divorce, the death of a friend, or moving to a new area can often feel like our lives are being turned upside down.
I have good news about that family whose house looked unlivable. Just a couple of days later, the man was clearing the damage from the windows. Things were not so hopeless as they first seemed. After rebuilding some of the walls inside and doing work on the roof, the house might even be livable again. Take that as an encouragement in your own hopeless situation. No matter how terrible your circumstances seem right now, God is right beside you. He will help you rebuild.