September 8, 2017

This last week has been unique. Forest fires rage in the states surrounding us, and even in Payette, Idaho, a town several miles south of my home town, Sandpoint, Idaho. The normally fresh clean air has been saturated with smoke from these fires. The sky is filled with a light gray color rather than the beautiful blue summer sky. The smoke looks like thick light-gray fog and decreases our visibility to the point where the mountains can barely be seen. The smoke smell is so thick that you wonder if you’re actually breathing in sawdust when you take air in. One night this week the news channel actually said that our little community of Sandpoint had the most hazardous air in the United States. How different it is from our normal breathing of clean mountain air.

The last week I’ve tried to stay in out of the bad air because I have allergies and asthma. The allergens in the air can cause me to have serious breathing issues. Yet no matter how you try to stay in, there are always errands to run and eventually you get cabin fever from being cooped up inside. My husband, Steve, and I did break out a few times to enjoy some meals out and run a few errands.

Steve enjoys getting outdoors more than I do. He likes to go various places and window shop. He also likes electronic gadgets and movies. Steve is a medically retired, disabled veteran and his medical issues prevent him from driving so I usually spend time every day making sure we get out for some time together. We enjoy drinking coffee and doing our Bible Study time in one of the local restaurants.

This morning we met with a man we usually disciple with the Word of God. We are presently studying the book of Mark. It’s a great reminder of the miraculous wonders Jesus did when He walked with His disciples on earth. It’s a great encouragement. With all of the fires, flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes going on around us, reading God’s word reminds us of the divine power of God–and His ability to keep us safe during the trials.

My heart goes out to those people in Texas, Louisiana, Mexico, Florida and any other areas who have suffered great loss due to the catastrophic events presently going on around us. Steve and I are praying for all of those people to have their needs met and God’s help in restoring their lives. The Biblical book of Nehemiah is a great source of encouragement for those who find themselves having to rebuild in times of trouble. Nehemiah told the Jews to remember how great their God was and how He would help them. Because of the many prayers going up for those presently in the midst of troubles, I know God will be there to encourage them and help them rebuild. Our God is faithful!

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