Reflecting on 2015 can't help but bring to mind the 2nd scariest event of my adult life (the death of our first born is my 1st). Our house fire in May is all I seem to remember of 2015. I remember the fear, combined with the bravery of the firefighters and my husband. Yet this fear and bravery was also intermingled with the sweet sound of my children singing, "Jesus Loves Me This I Know", while wrapped in blankets (given to them by our neighbors) and sitting on the cool concrete across the street. They sang with tears streaming down their soft cheeks, all the while cradling their dog, Hannah. Korri had grabbed her phone on the way out of the house and while sitting on the sidewalk, launched the YouVersion Bible app that was on her phone. She sat hugging her little brother as the three fire engines idled loudly in front of them. Our entire block was aglow during the midnight hours of May 1 with swirling lights, and our house was aglow with fire. Our house burning, with our car still in the garage, was one of the most helpless feelings I have felt in a very long time.
The only other time I felt that helpless was when our firstborn son, Kobe, lay clinging to his life after being born at 24 weeks gestation because of my high-risk pregnancy. Though he had working lungs, one of them collapsed and remained deflated, stuck like a wet balloon because it lacked the surfactant to keep them inflated, so he was living with only 1 lung. He died 5 short hours after his birth. Something inside me died as well. On January 12th of this year, Kobe will be turning 17 in Heaven. I can't help but think of all the things I missed because I never had the joy of raising him.
I do know, even when life gets difficult, God's sweet presence promises to carry us through, just as it did 17 years ago when God's love carried my broken heart through months and years of grief. He showed up again this year in the sweet songs of my children during a blazing house fire. If I had remained bitter to him so many years ago, my children would have never learned to trust in him during our house fire.
Jesus tells us in John 16:33 -
We will never know when the tragic events of our life will take place. But we can know the One who promises to carry us through them. What will your 2016 hold? In difficult times, what will you do? Who will you put your trust in?