“When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2b, NIV).
When I first saw the posts about about the wildfires raging between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, I felt like my best friend had just died.
I have so many childhood memories tied up in that place that come alive whenever I drive up into the Smokies. I’m not overly a fan of how touristy the place has become, but I still wax nostalgic whenever I’m walking up and down the main drag.
I’m praying for Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains tonight. Sure, I have my selfish reasons, but I’m also thinking of the many who live and work there. I’m thinking of all the history and nature that’s in peril.
The world needs a place that’s quaint (and sometimes even a little hokey), a place that’s not hipster-ed to death or upscaled and overpriced into absurdity.
There needs to be a Pancake Pantry and a Space Needle and a Dollywood and all the riot of colors from the leaves turning in the fall. All of those do wonders for restoring my soul.
I’m praying, “God, let it rain.”
That’s what is needed more than anything, I think. A nice long downpour.
Update: Apparently, several structures have caught fire in Gatlinburg. I don’t know which ones, but I know that the residents there would appreciate as many prayers lifted up as possible during the night and into the morning.
Most of all, pray that no lives are lost. Property can be replaced and buildings can be rebuilt but no human life can ever be replaced.
Above all, trust in the sovereign hand of the One who is Lord over both the flood and the flame. God’s still in control.
One more update: I just read where the rain has finally arrived. God is already working.