It’s almost Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. A quiet time for giving thanks to God.
In the maze of life, the strange wandering we all do, there are such perplexities as the Camp Fire that, as it turns out, did not destroy all of Paradise.
Consider this excerpt from another blog I found:
The randomness of the fire was also seen on Academy Drive where the Paradise Adventist Academy School was standing but the church, basically across the street, was gone.
. . . . .
Clark Road was hit hard, as Ace Rentals, Calvary Baptist Church, which houses Achieve Charter High School were all destroyed by the fire, but across the street, Taco Bell and the Laundromat was standing. The new Immediate Care burned down, but the Paradise Performing Arts Center appeared to avoid damage. Safeway’s shopping center was completely destroyed, but the Napa Auto Store stood, as did the Rite Aide on Clark and Elliott. However the ARCO store was burned to the ground.
. . . . .
The Kentucky Fried Chicken on Bille Road was taken by the blaze as was Sam’s Liquor and the Salvation Army store, but the Paradise Postal Office, Paradise Alliance Church, First Baptist Church, the Kmart Shopping Center, Dollar General, and UPS Store were still there as was Scott Lotter’s movie theater.
Note: Paradise Alliance Church is where we hosted a course for Right On Mission last year.
Many people from Paradise are clinging to Psalm 88. Trusting God more than ever, even now.
As I reflect, with a sigh in the form of an exhale, my heart sings because the best things in life are so good:
- The amazement that we are all created in God’s image: we get to love.
- The ability to know, understand, think, ponder, and be in awe: we get to worship.
- The comfort of friendship, family, and camaraderie: we are in this together.
- The joy of children: listening to a 2 year old laugh and playing with little ones.
- The beauty of the earth: the fragrance of rain, bright colors, mountains, stars.
- The pleasures of taking in fresh air, savory food, and hearing music.
- The triumphant sense of achievement when we surmount what daunts us.
- The capacity to care: to cry, grieve, mourn, celebrate, and cherish.
- The power of the cross, the power to rise again.
I could go on and on.
Paradise. Though it be lost, it can be refound. There is always hope with Jesus Who rose from the grave, having obliterated the certificate of debt against us and disarmed evil authorities. In Christ, we are set free to count our blessings, even after the fire.