My worst day was my best day.
It was a Saturday, and a spark found a crack, which led to flames leaping from the attic. The house was on fire. My dad and brothers ran for water buckets in a futile attempt to douse the blaze. The fire department arrived on the scene relatively quickly, but the entire roof had already been gutted.
I was just six years old, and I don’t remember much from there. The haze of smoke. The shock. The uncertainty. Where would we go? Where would we live?
Six kids are no picnic to take in, but my aunt answered the call and we loaded a truck with whatever essentials we could find that were not soaked in water. We crammed into her little house along with her three children.
It was a dark day. My dad said simply that his luck had turned. It was my worst day.
It took a couple of months before we found another house. We skipped school. It was simply too far to drive from my aunt’s house to school.
I remember moving into our house in Waldron, Missouri. The house stunk. Bugs seemed to lurk everywhere. We picked ticks off like clockwork. The toilet barely worked, and we had to order water delivered to fill a well that seemed to run dry at the worst times.
You might be wondering how this story gets any better. Well, here it is.
Our neighbor two doors down took pity on our family. They reached out to us. They brought us a children’s Bible story book. And that changed everything.
For the first time, I read the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Joshua, David & Goliath… For the first time in my life, I believed that there was a God, and it was not me. Not long after, those same neighbors gave me my own Bible, and they invited us to church. The lights came on, and faith became real for me.
My life was forever changed. A house fire was the worst day of my life. I thought I’d lost everything. But that same house fire forced us to move to a broken-down old house where God spoke new life into my life. The best day.
It makes me realize that the greatest gifts we’ve been given are not those immediately recognizable. We see with the eyes of gratitude and of faith.
Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash
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Published July 16, 2021
Topics: A Life of Faith