“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I once heard an incredible story. There were two sisters, middle aged, who were living together. Both had recently come out of difficult emotional environments and both had recently been divorced.
One day, as they were watching the news, something detrimental happened. The area they lived in was on fire. No one seemed to know how it began or how it spread. What they did know, is that this fire sprouted right in the center of where more than two hundred families lived. In the middle of a forest.
The next day, the two sisters kept careful watch all day and despaired as the fire continued to grow, devouring homes, land, and the livelihoods of all who had lived there. That night, they were put on evacuation orders. In a panic, they realized they only had an hour to pack everything they could into an old car and get out before the fire reached them. Leaving behind all they knew to stuff their car with the few belongings they thought were needed, they drove away to spend the night at a hotel.
No one expected the fear and desperation that occurs when they evacuated. Hundreds of cars lined the roads and entire families covered their mouths with wet rags to keep from gagging on the smoke. Those two women did not expect the fire to go far.
Everyone was comforted by the words from the Chief of the Fire Department. “Everything will be contained. We are only evacuating to give our firefighters some air to keep the fire down.”
The rest of that evening and following day, the two woman watched the television in the hotel. Even those who had not been evacuated were glued to screens, constantly updating and crashing networks with the sheer numbers of people looking for updates. Eventually, the two women took their car over to a diner to clear their heads.
They watched the fire consume their house on the screen.
At the same moment, their car was broken into, and everything they had left was stolen and looted.
They lost everything.
That fire was the Black Forest fire in Colorado Springs. My family was evacuated on those orders. And those women stayed at the same hotel where we stayed.
This picture was taken outside of our home as we evacuated.
We hear a lot about problems. We see on the news reports of tornados, hurricanes, floods, crashes, fires, starvation, devastation, etc. But there is something startlingly real about being in that evacuation. Having that fear that everything you own and know could be burned to the ground in a moment. Nothing compares to the anguish you feel when a piece of your identity, your place in the world, is disrupted.
The world is not a pretty place. It is not a nice place. It is not even a very happy place. So why is it that we find a reason to keep on doing life. Somehow, we find the will to pluck on. To get up out of the degradation and continue living.
It was David Tennent playing Doctor Who who said, “Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.”
Well. No matter what happens, we bounce back. Why is that?
Because. No matter how much stuff we get, no matter how many places we lose or situations we wish never happened, we have a reason.
People live for other people. After the Black Forest fire, Colorado came together to help those who had lost homes. Every day for the next several years, I would drive through the burnt black remains of tattered lives.
But then something incredible happened.
The community budded. People spent weekends going out and giving to others. We would find a house and take teams of people to help cut down burnt trees and clear debris. My family even helped build one families house. Blessings come from the rain.
Going through the forest in the wake of destruction, all you would see is the budding plants and grass and flowers shooting out. Beauty came from the pain.
This video was recorded for WorshipMob, an organization my older siblings went to weekly to come together and worship. The lead singer and guitarist is my older brother, Seth Enos. I love my family. What I love more, is their hearts for God and their hearts for people.
Life shoots up from the grounds of pain and loss. Do not fear loss. Embrace the blessing in disguise.
There was a scar on yonder mountainside,
Gashed out where one the cruel storm had trod;
A barren, desolate chasm, reaching wide
Across the soft green sod.
But years crept by beneath the purple pines,
And veiled the scar with grass and moss once more,
And left it fairer now with flowers and pines
Than it had been before.
There was a wound once in a gentle heart,
From which life’s sweetness seemed to ebb and die;
And love’s confiding changed to bitter smart,
While slow, sad years went by.
Yet as they passed, unseen an angel stole
And laid a balm of healing on the pain,
Till love grew purer in the heart made whole,
And leave came back again.
People hurt all the time. The way they get through? Because they found their reason in something more substantial. Something that moths and vermin cannot destroy, something that cannot be stolen. They have found their reason in loving others.
But before we love others, we love God. Because all we have is broken, lost, sinful, human love. What others need is the perfect and unyielding love of God. Before looking to others, we must look to our Father.
In the end, He is the only one who can rain down life in the midst of devastation.
Be blessed today.