by Sue Detweiler
The Morning After the Fire
Miraculously, my 5-week-old daughter and I were saved from the fire. (Read about the fire here). We spent a long, weary night in the hospital as the doctors examined and treated my baby and me for smoke inhalation. In the early hours of the morning we called my mom.
“Mom, we’re all right.” The long pause of silence was deafening.
Finally she spoke: “What happened?”
Wayne described the huge fire and how there was only one fire truck, leaving three homes devastated. The heat from the blazing inferno melted a car bumper and the shutters of our neighbors’ home. People lined the street as the fire lit up the night sky. As we told Mom about the fire, her quiet peace engulfed our stress.
“You’re the ones I have been praying for,” she said. The month before my mom began to meditate, fast, and pray over Isaiah 43:
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
(Isaiah 43:2, NIV)
Later I would look back on this telephone conversation and marvel at the power of prayer and the peace of my own mother. God had prepared her through fasting and prayer. I would rejoice in how God saved us from the fire. I would celebrate—just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—that God was with me in the fire. I would wonder at how the bondages of my life were burned up and I was set free. (See Daniel 3).
After the Fire – 5 Ways We Were Changed
The fire changed us. By going through this traumatic experience we were transformed in our walk with God. We were already pastors, so we knew and loved God’s Word already. However, the fire brought to the service areas that needed to be healed in our lives. As we moved towards the light of God we experience His healing power personally in these 5 ways:
We were freed through the power of forgiveness. It was believed, but not proven, that the fire was begun by an arsonist in the home next to us that was under construction. That home burned entirely to the ground in minutes. Our home was less damaged because it was all brick. The fire burned in the rafters above. When an investigator came to talk with us about the potential that it was an arsonist that had set the fire, we realized that we needed to forgive this unknown person that had almost cost us our lives.
We found freedom through the power of forgiveness. As we went through a process of choosing to forgive the arsonist, we also began to forgive others from our past who had wounded us. We began to experience deep levels of freedom in our personal lives and marriage.
To be “redeemed” means that we have been “bought back and brought back” from bondage. The power of forgiveness helped us understand the wonder of salvation. Our own prayer life, married life, and ministry life began to demonstrate more of God’s power to heal lives. We understood first hand the power of redemption. We embraced the beauty of Christ’s cross to redeem us all from our sins.
As soon as we went through the trauma of the fire, we were faced with the red-tape with the insurance company. It felt like another battle. It took longer to rebuild our home than it took to build it in the first place.
After we walked through the rebuilding process, God blessed us more than before. We were honored by God restoring all to us. We also found fresh honor in our marriage that was revived. Rather than become “bitter” with what had happened to us, we became “better.” We also found honor in being able to minister more powerfully to others who had gone through their own “fires” in their lives. Our ministry began to grow.
We experienced the love of God like never before. My thoughts were renewed. My words brought life. My actions showed a deep fountain of joy bubbling through the circumstances. We were covered and loved in God’s presence.
We moved into our daily lives with a fresh conviction of the power of God to save, heal, and transform lives. He had delivered us out of our “fire.” We were confident that God would deliver others out of the fire. Through this experience, my husband and I were called the the ministry of restoring people’s lives after trauma.
God Is With You After the Fire in Your Life
God is with you before the fire. He is with you through the fire. He is with you after the fire. God’s love never fails. He is trustworthy to deliver you from all fear. You can become fearless in your walk with Him. Trusting that He will care for you every day!
Leave your comments below. I want to know the types of fires that God has delivered you out of.
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5 thoughts on “After the Fire – 5 Ways We Were Changed”
God is so good. As I write about what happened in our lives so many years ago, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness. I would love to hear your story…
How faithful God is!
This is one verse God spoke to me through during my divorce process. I always went back and read this one as I leaned on Him during that very trying time. I lost my dad, I filed and divorced and had a surgery. It was tough. But God is faithful and true. So grateful for His love and committment.
Sorry for your pain. I’m thankful with you that God is faithful and true.
Story shows GOD’S redemptive nature.