Monday, August 30, 2004

We Were Neither Scorched Nor Burned

This is going to be a jumbled sharing but I just want to share some of thethings that our family experienced.

God's mighty and victorious hand saved us all, no one was hurt or injured, andthe damage to property was limited to the warehouse compound where the firestarted in the first place. There was no wind that night even though it was awindy Saturday and Sunday, so the fire did not spread. Half of the leaves ofour santol tree were burned; the top of the wall separating our property fromthe warehouse was likewise toasted, but it was as if angels blocked off the flames.

Inside our house there was no smoke and no sign of the commotionoutside. My father's TV was tuned to CNN the whole time. I watched the fire from down the street because fire trucks blocked the way back to our house. Ireally thought the flames had engulfed our house. I imagined that our entirehouse was muddy from the water from the hose. I could not believe how protectedthe house actually was. When I stepped back inside after several hours ofuncertainty, and felt the peace and calm inside the house, I could not believe it.

At 4 a.m., and while firemen were still battling the flamesnext door, my parents and kuyas said we should go to bed and rest. My brothers turned off the lights and fell asleep immediately in exhaustion. My father dozed off immediately too. The women in the house - Mama, Jane and I - couldnot rest as easily, but we had to submit. I prayed in my room, which was the room nearest to the neighboring fire, and felt the Lord's comfort that if He hadprotected us that far, He could as easily ward off the flames so we could go to sleep.

Though I walk through the fire, I will not be scorched nor burned
And the flames will not harm me at all.

I hold these lines from Isaiah 43 dear now, even though I've always counted on that verse and the song. I literally saw a building that contained flammable materials such as Baygon insecticide, katol, and other things sold at Save MoreDrug (which owned the building) going up in flames and sending forth explosionsfor one night. I held my breath, together with, our neighbors, the newsmen, and the UZis, as the heroic firefighters attempted to contain the flames and the explosions and to eventually subdue them.

The next morning I saw our garden lined with burned cans of sardines that flew off the warehouse during theexplosive night. But we were protected. As I was putting on Nivea Eye Control and night moisturizer at 5 a.m. Sunday, I could not believe how normal life was,how each piece of junk in our house, how all of our valuables, were still with us. We were not harmed. Angels protected us. I did not have to see them tobelieve they were there.

The whole night, at the back of my mind I was comforting myself with the knowledge that we had fire insurance. Well, wonder of wonders, I later onlearned that our insurance expired on August 16 and that we had forgotten to renew it. Mama only told us about it when we were all sitting in the living room already,and after we had coffee and sandwiches.

Be still, and know that I am God! - Psalm 46:11, which I had just recently used to exhort my Lingkod sisters at the household, became my mantra that terrifying night. We almost lost everything,and everything was what we gained. Maybe in time we would understand, and appreciate, this blessing.

This incident happened hours after I shared about God being my provider in times of helplessness. Saturday night was another, and more difficult, moment of helplessness. God could not have asked me to give atalk on the power of the Holy Spirit at a more perfect time.

1 comment:

mel said...

galing! i'm so thankful we were spared.