God is for Us!
“God must have been for us, right?” Labi asked me in a daze as we greeted each other on an ash-covered driveway several days after the wildfire raged through our suburb.
That afternoon Labi, our landlady and the owner of the apartment complex, evacuated with her baby grandson as soon as it was clear that the fire, then more than 10 miles away, would not be contained before nightfall.
She left, not knowing what she would find upon return.
The night was windy, and fire raged. During the early morning hours, officials ordered everyone to evacuate our neighborhood. Several firefighter crews were stationed along the road to ensure all evacuees safely escaped the rapidly approaching fire.
Houses in the neighborhood, however, stood at the mercy of the elements. The main firefighter force was working hard to contain the fire before it reached flammables stored in a pharmaceutical warehouse, a furniture factory, and three petrol stations a half-mile from our location and the entry to a densely populated residential area.
Upon returning later in the day, we witnessed a miracle in the scorched area: no loss of life and no buildings containing highly flammable and toxic contents were affected by the flames.
Back in our driveway, we witnessed another miracle: our apartment complex only had a few scorched trees, even though at the time we evacuated, it looked like flames would envelop it at any moment.
No wonder Labi was overwhelmed with gratitude as she surveyed undamaged buildings and a few scorched trees amidst adjoining vineyards and olive groves destroyed by the fire.
“God must have protected us,” she exclaimed once again, nearly choking up in tears.
“Yes,” I agreed. “God truly protected all of us. He is on our side. Always.”