I know many people in Butte County may not feel particularly blessed at the present time. Dealing with the loss of life, homes, possessions, livelihood, churches and schools it may seem to many that life has come to an end. Those who survived the fire in Paradise now have to start from scratch, most with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs.
This makes me think of the Israelites as they hurriedly left Egypt. They had little time to gather what they could before beginning their trip into the desert to an unknown location. Following a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night they ventured into the unknown trusting that their final destination would be the land God promised, a land filled with milk and honey.
I imagine the beginning of the trip was exciting and the people were filled with hope. Very shortly into the exodus the realness of what was before them became evident and the excitement wore off. When they arrived at Marah the water was bitter. They ran out of bread to eat, and they wanted meat! They “remembered the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.” Numbers 11:5 Soon the grumbling began and their faith began to waver.
I know the exodus out of Paradise wasn’t exciting, rather very terrifying. I know the community is living hand to mouth looking to others to provide and care for them. There is a very real uncertainty for the lives of thousands. They don’t have the promise of traveling to a land of milk and honey. They don’t know what is ahead or how long it will take to get there. Yet amidst their uncertainty and calamity we can share our source of peace.
✶ Peace that God says will, “surpasses all understanding, (that) will guard their hearts and their minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7
✶Peace that calms hearts and fears. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
✶ Peace through believing in The Overcomer. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
May we, as believers in The Overcomer, share His peace and comfort with the people of Butte County. May we look for continued ways to support them not only through our prayers but in tangible ways. May we shine a light for Christ amidst the darkness and despair. Let us be as Matthew states “... the light of the world. A city set on a hill (that) cannot be hidden.” Matt. 5:14
Blessings~ Debra Ward
Oroville Christian School’s
The Carter kids are excited about Christmas but begin to lose sight of the true reason we celebrate Christmas. Join us with fun songs and engaging drama as we rediscover that Christmas isn’t all about presents and decorated trees, but the gift of Christ’s life.
Thursday, December 20, 6:30 pm
Friday, December 21, 10:00 am