Bill Jessup called me yesterday. I knew right away that something wasn’t right. I have been with him on more than a few occasions of talking about difficult news. Do you have a few minutes… I need to talk to you about something. I don’t know any other way to say this… It is amazing how many things you can feel and think in the split second between a sentence like this and the next one. I thought, surely I have negligently caused someone’s death. No, maybe somebody I love has died. Lord, have mercy…just hurry up and deliver the blow.
Well it turns out that there was a fire in the basement of our townhome in VA yesterday morning. The people who rent from us made it out OK, but the basement was destroyed and there is smoke damage to a large amount of the lower two levels. I called Jason Pelt, our resident fire assessment expert in Stafford County, and he made a trip to the house with Bill to check things out. Initially Bill only knew that there was a fire and couldn’t tell me much more. The guys called me later and the report was better than what I had pictured in my mind. They described it as, “not as bad as they expected.” I was a little cautious about their report at first considering Bill’s self-professed pyromania and Jason’s point of reference for fires. As they explained what they saw I was just thankful it wasn’t worse. The majority of what we own in the U.S. is packed into storage in the basement of the house. From their report, the storage areas looked OK.
An ocean away from all that, we will continue to trust the Lord through all that he brings in and out of our lives. Living in Iceland has helped us to think less about my possessions because we could only bring a few suitcases. Most days I forget I own anything else and it is very freeing to feel like you are traveling light. More and more as I encounter circumstances in life I am feeling strangely “prepared” for the tests God brings to refine me. Immediately yesterday I was reminded of Peter’s words in 1 Peter 5:6-10, which I recently had been memorizing and I could sense God’s Spirit instructing me to be at rest under what God’s hand is doing in my life. We pray often for God to be exalted through our lives and for others to see our joy in Him. I wish that everyone would know the freedom from toil and fear that resting in God’s providence brings to me as a follower of Christ. It is not freedom from loss, or freedom from the regular disappointments of life, but the joy of knowing God in every circumstance and learning to see that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.