We’ve all experienced forks in the road. Times when we’ve desperately needed clear direction and guidance on important decisions. When the situation is a crisis or there’s a lot to be lost, fear can make me function on my own and take my own counsel. But that’s a limited perspective, isn’t it?

Do you have any uncertainty in your life right now?  One of the promises that Jesus left with us was the promise of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ words are a New Testament response to something God promised long ago through the prophet Isaiah.

Did 2014 turn out to be all you’d hoped it would be? New Year’s is a time when people review the past year and look forward to the days ahead. Pam and I usually take some time on New Year’s Day to pray through our journals. We consider what God has said and what He has done, listening for His voice of guidance.

The last couple posts about fiery experiences in my life raise the question of God’s protection as described in Isaiah 43:2,3. What does it mean that “we will not be burned”? What does God’s promise of protection really mean?

As a 34-year-old, I led a group on a weekend getaway during a mission trip in Indonesia. That day was an outdoorsman’s delight: hiking to the rim of a volcano! It hadn't erupted in 16 years so it was supposed to be a safe yet adventuresome voyage. Go figure—the volcano erupted.

The recent Waldo Canyon Fire that consumed our home has caused me to think about other times I have encountered flames. (I'm noticing a new theme in my life!) I remember one incident when, as a 27-year-old dad, I used "improper fuel" to start the gas grill.

As I write, the fire in the mountains above Colorado Springs is 98 percent contained and has consumed 18,247 acres. It has been surreal seeing the destruction. At one point there were more than 32,000 people displaced and reports indicate almost 350 homes have been destroyed. Including ours.We are stunned by all this and sobered by the road that lies ahead for us personally and the city as a whole.  We are keenly aware that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity where the hope of the Lord is needed by many thousands of dear souls.

Just a few days ago, my wife, Pam, and I stood on a hilltop in the dark, surrounded by others watching flames and smoke swallow the foothills of Colorado Springs. We knew some of those blazes might be swallowing our home. Those around us feared the same. That night Pam and I held each other close and wept and prayed.

The last couple of blog posts have focused on where we can find courage. Without a doubt, how we view our daily circumstances plays a huge role in whether we approach the day with courage or with fear.

 
Of greatest importance in how we each view our circumstances is how we personally view God and ourselves (what we considered in the last two posts).

In past posts I’ve mentioned Matthew 6 where Jesus speaks strongly about how important it is to “see” and how devastating it is when we don’t see clearly. “The eye is the lamp of the body…” (Matthew 6:22ff).

Without a doubt, if our “eyesight” is “poor” and our view of God is distorted, it impacts everything!