"Putting Out Fires"
January 22, 2011
For wickedness burns like a fire ... Isaiah 9:18a
This year marks the half-century mark for the Centralia, Pennsylvania, fire.
That's right. A fire has been burning underneath that city for half a century. Touch the earth and you can feel the heat. Deep holes and crevices vent hot, smoky air. One resident reports this: "Standing by a hole, you can hear the fires roaring. It's an eerie sound, like the beating of a thousand wings."
Many different government agencies spent millions to put out the fire. Some time ago, officials indicated they were no longer willing to attempt to put out the blaze. They believe it is a futile task. As flames continue to burn without restraint, townspeople have moved on.
Truly, every community has its problems. Some are far worse than others.
While your neighborhood may not have an unchecked underground fire, you probably have some kind of fire.
There are drugs, juvenile delinquency and the breakdown of the home. There is unemployment, fear of the future and a host of other "fires."
Indeed, it often seems these fires of ours are just as unquenchable as those of Centralia.
If that is the situation where you live, you need to remember that while earthly agencies may be helpless in putting them out, God is not.
He has promised to stand by the side of His people and offers them assistance. Either He will help us survive the fire or He will put it out.
This is why, even though I may not know the particular fires which are blazing in your neighborhood, I still encourage you to talk to the Lord. Come to Him with your concerns. He who sent His Son to save you will be there to provide the right assistance, in the right proportion, at the right time.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Lord God, help us survive the fires of life and allow us to trust in You to continue the love we have been given in our Savior. This is our prayer, which we offer in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries