When the Storm Brings Fire

Gwen SmithBlog 32 Comments

Thunder cracked the sky when a lightning bolt ripped through the roof of our home, igniting a fire that redefined our normal that night in 2017. The house snapped dark and shook. It was as if a bomb had gone off.

“I think we got hit!” Hunter screamed from the family room. We hurried outside to see if it was true.

The next few minutes were a blurry race against the clock. Get the dogs out! Get the cars out! I’ll grab the computers! And that’s pretty much all we had time for. The flames and smoke kicked us out of our home and far from warmth or comfort.

Sirens roared. Red lights flashed.

Fear and helplessness stood in the rain beside me as I watched it all play out from across the street. My feet were naked. In the chaos and commotion, I didn’t think to put any shoes on. Someone noticed and placed a pair of leather boat shoes before me. I gratefully slipped them on.

The minutes seemed like months in the moments between the arrival of the firefighters and the point at which they had the hoses hooked up to a water source.

Hurry up, guys!

Flames raged wildly from my closet window. The house glowed bright with orange. Was this really happening?

Two trucks. Three. Four. Firemen running and shouting. Police on the scene. News cameras and reporters.

Why was it taking so long?

Neighbors everywhere. Soaked. Stunned. Standing in support. Offering prayers and a place to stay. They’d all felt the earth shake within their homes when ours was hit.

Once the fire was contained and fully out, we were allowed to go back in to grab a few personal items. It was almost 1 am. Darkness hung thick in the air. The power had been cut, so the firemen led us through the ashes, debris, and water with handheld lights.

Our upstairs looked like a smoldering freight train had passed through, hurling darkness and destruction. Soot and debris were all around. Water and smoke were everywhere. And ashes. Heaps and heaps of ashes. Could this really be our home?

Yet God’s peace was in the midst of it all, calming me. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a).

In that season of ashes, God bid me to trust Him. Time and time again. In the frustration, exhaustion, and tears. As I spent time in prayer, I sensed Him inviting me to trust His timing, His plan, His sovereignty, and His ability to restore and make new.

Isaiah wrote: “This is what the Lord says … ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland’” (Isaiah 43:16-19).

What former or fiery things have left you dwelling on the past?

Is there something or someone the Lord is bidding you to trust Him with today?

Maybe yours isn’t a house fire or literal ashes, but a prodigal child, a crumbling marriage, or an aging parent? Maybe you’re passing through the deep waters of a health battle or a financial burden.

God is at work in the middle of every struggle and storm. Even when questions loom and pain is present. He is faithful and powerful, able to do more than you and I can ever ask for or imagine.

Let’s ask for and imagine a fresh rising of strength and hope today as we trust God’s goodness – even when our circumstances burn like fire and smell like smoke.

Dear Lord, You are faithful and good at all times. Thank You for promising to never leave or forsake Your children. Please strengthen me to face the fires before me today with courage and honor. Help me trust You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



What do you need to trust God with today?

Let’s pray together today. Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.


COACHING OPPORTUNITY: Got some dreams that you’re ready to prioritize and make happen? Want to be mentored professionally and challenged as you progress toward your goals? Gain focus, bolster your courage and sharpen your competencies through 1-on-1 personal, ministry or business coaching with Gwen Smith. Spots are limited. Learn more at GwenSmith.net/Coaching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments 32

  1. I need prayer my husband had an affair and is moving out to see if he still loves me. My son his having anxiety attacks since he found out. I am lost for words.

    1. I’m so sorry my marriage is crumbling also experience aniexty. Lord you have a way only you a a way give us courage and wisdom. Sending 💕 Susanna

  2. Great post. Where’s the rest of the story? How did God redeem this? I’m sure He did. I just need to hear it. We’re walking through a fiery trial right now.

  3. Please pray for my grandson.. no one has heard from him. We are all very worried. Please pray for him and that we will hear from him
    Thank you all
    At God Bless you.

  4. Great read and just want I needed for today. I have been dealing with problems at work and I must say this storm has lasted far more than I wanted to deal with. We are making some changes and although the changes will be for the better I know that some people are not going to be happy so it will more than likely get worse before it gets better. Please pray that this will be and easy transition and that the ones effected will understand.

  5. Thank you for your daily devotions. Please pray for me/my family as we travel a journey of a daughter passing from a drug overdose.

  6. Prayers for financial needs
    My marriage has been a mess for years husband dropped out of church
    I am not sure that I even want to stay married
    Need extra finances to make it on my own
    Where I can find some kind of personal purpose and peace

  7. I need prayers over my health which is severely restricting to me, to letting go of my ex- husband’s, to letting go of my prodigal son please.

  8. I thank the Lord for inspirational people like you🙏🏻. I’m glad you’re family was safe from the fire 🙏🏻
    I’ve been taking care of my brother for the past year due to him being in the hospital/rehab for 7 1/2 months with several issues that started with Covid pneumonia. God has bestowed many healings and Miracles upon him. He still needs me there but I haven’t been able to work for the past year so I need prayers please going into new skills with computers and working remote 🙏🏻
    I pray for my Daughter and Granddaughters to come to be on the roads God has for them.
    God Bless Everyone and Pray for Prayers to be answered 🙏🏻🙏🏻

  9. This was a message for me. Thank you..please pray for my grandson who is far away.he needs the Lord. Help me to trust God through this fire. To wait speak less and pray more.
    God Bless you.

  10. I need to trust that God has taken control of the situation with my son and his drug addiction. There is nothing I can do no amount of money that will change this. It has effected the whole family. Only God can change it. I pray that I can give this to God and not continue to take it back. There are days I can’t think straight it has that much effect on myself and the family. I know that this will be in God’s timing.

  11. I need prayers for the strength to go to an event on Saturday which I have committed to go to and that my back won’t keep me from going.

  12. Thank you so much Gwen for your words of truth and encouragement today. I’m sorry for the experience your family went through when your home was struck by lightening. I’m so glad you all were safe.

    I just wanted to share that your message today truly spoke to my heart, I have been praying for a family member for quite a few years with no noticeable change in his circumstances. There are emotional issues present and sometimes he just seems paralyzed to move forward. I must admit sometimes I get discouraged in prayer. I try to remain hopeful and trust God, but I want to do better in that. The scriptures you shared from Isaiah today along with your message seemed to open my eyes this morning, in Isaiah 43:16-19 we are told “do not dwell on the past” and that God is “doing a new thing.” I’ve definitely been dwelling in the past wirh my family member as I continually roll over in my mind the loss, sadness, difficulty and lack of progress. After God’s Word today I want to change my thinking and not focus on the past, but instead watch for God to do a “new thing,” trusting his goodness and mercy. Thank you Lord for “making a way in the wilderness.” I so appreciate your message today Gwen.

  13. Please pray for my granddaughter. She is 19 and has done a complete 360.and we really don’t understand what happened. She also got married after dating this boy for four months. I’m asking for Randy as well. Up until this morning I was very angry with him. He is very manipulating and not in a good way. He had an awful home life and it shows. Please please pray that Sami and Randy turn around and put their life and trust in Jesus Christ.

    If you could pray for Sami’s family, her mom especially, they have gone from such a loving relationship to silence with each other.
    Thank you and God bless you.

  14. This was what I needed today. Going through a divorce, which should have happened a long time ago. I kept trying, praying, God’s will and timing – not mine. It’s scary – to soon be alone (kids are gone with their own families). I know this is the time but I’m sad, scared, however I continue to pray God’s will and I know He has something better for me. I needed to read this today – perfect timing.

  15. That happeded to me and my husband last year, we loss every thing, and i am still trying put a home back together, however God is love, my business went way down, and started to ask God what did i do wrong, i paid my tithes, gave generously Israel, blessed others, and then i realized, i was doing things more than asking for his plan for my life.

  16. Gwen, you are such an inspiration. You have faced so many challenges in life, but through it all you have such faith and trust in God’s plan. Thank you for sharing your challenges so we can all grow and learn.

  17. I have a horrible super itchy rash on many places on my body. Please pray that God will take away this! I have meds from my doctor but the itch keeps me awake and unrested. I know Jesus is with me, I asked him if I need to learn from this, I know he will deliver me. Our God is good all the time!

  18. “Thank you Father for your continued presence…Let me let go, and trust you are “doing a new thing” in my life. Amen”

  19. Thank you, Gwen, this was great! I have a prodigal child that I have been praying for for years and I constantly need the reminder that God is working in his life, as well as mine. Please pray for him with me, his name is Kaleb. Please pray for his brother too, Kohen, because it has been hard on everyone.

    1. Megan, your post this morning could be mine except I am grandma and not mom. Our family is just devastated.

      I will be praying for your son and the entire family.

  20. I needed this, I have been having health issues since retirement. I question if I made the right decision to retire early and enjoy it while I can. I am 62, I retired at 60.
    Co-works asked me what I planned on doing with my spare time?
    I have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis and the pain is extreme.
    I have good days and bad days.
    I have had to cancel many. Outings with family. I have yet to fish.
    My husband, what a God fearing man! He said “this is what God ment by love your wif”. My husband is a 100% disabled military Veteran.
    There’s times where he has to help me bathe, cut food, dress.
    I never realized how painful it could be.
    Your devotions are very important to my everyday life.
    Thank you.

  21. This devotional today met me at just the right time I have to trust God with my disabled son and my 2 daughters. My health also has been a little . I know hes got this because hes always been there. He’s never let me or my children down. But I feel lost please. Strengthen me and help me see

  22. I pray that God will continue to bless and walk with our family open the eyes and hearts of my adult children to see what he has set before them. That each season of life He will guide and protect us in valley or on the mountain top. In Jesus name.

  23. Thanks Gwen. I needed this. I need to trust God on a major decision whether to make a move or not. I know Je has plans for me not sometimes the flesh gets in the way.


  25. Please pray for my daughter and her husband as the received unsettling news about her pregnancy yesterday. I am grateful for your message today that God is omnipotent!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *