Saved By Fire
It brought tears to our eyes to see this sight for it was assurance on two counts--1) The Lord of hosts had condescended to protect our humble little cross from the fires that had decimated our community in such swift and destructive fashion and 2) that this significant act to us was confirmation of the peace He had granted us the day before when packing, that the house would be still standing when we returned.
Over the course of this communally painful scene, this collaborative loss we share has made us all to some degree more vulnerable than before. We have heard story after story of divine deliverance from others escaping for their lives from this conflagration. The unimaginable has happened in our community in which we live, work and attend school--the town of Paradise has burned to the ground. It has become the worst fire disaster in state history and one of the most horrendous in our country.
But through the suffering and horror, we see a divine blueprint bringing deliverance, comfort, hope and a coming together of hurting humanity that only a horrific disaster seems to bring out. The backdrop of this picture is one which expresses the emotions we all now can relate to--a dismal, desolate reality, but in the center a preserved maroon cross, which signifies the only Hope for this world. A collective thank you in appreciation for That life poured out for suffering humanity is the only appropriate response.
If you would like to donate to the fire victims, we have a platform already set up to accommodate such efforts. All donations titled, "fire victims" will go for this cause.
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Another story of divine deliverance was in the form of a warning which came as we were escaping. On our exodus through the north of Magalia on an access road we had what we think was a "divine encounter", though we didn't recognize it as such at the time.
Since the access road was not paved, there was a lot of dust, and it was getting dark. Coming up to a bend in the road around a hill, a black SUV came around the corner and waited for us. As we approached it, the driver let down the window to speak to us. She asked if we were trying to get out, in replying in the affirmative, she warned us that there was a fork in the road a little distance ahead and not to go left, but stay to the right. [Our neighbor had told us to take the access road and when it came to the fork, to go left.] She asked if we understood what she said, I replied yes. She continued, "You must stay to the right, if you go to the left it will take you straight down into the fire and you will be trapped." [She saw we were pulling a trailer and would not be able to turn around.] We thanked her and continued on our way. She was now behind us, but we let her go by and she went on ahead and we never saw her again.
Later, in recalling this incident to others, they told us it sounded like an 'angel encounter'.
We believe this was the case and thanked the Lord for protecting us in our escape.