A brave doctor remains with her patients in hospital despite raging fire.
The fire was blowing towards us. I saw the fire crews hard at work. I left to go home to my apartment, thinking I would be safe there, but there was a wall of flames rising over the hill, and I realized I wouldn’t be safe for long if the wind continued. Ash was raining down, covering everything. I packed a few essentials and went to my program director’s house.
We got reports from the hospital that we were preparing to evacuate our patients as the fire had gotten too close, and we would need all hands-on deck to help. I’m a resident physician at Shasta Community Health Center. Some physicians had left town with their families to get them to safety, so we were short-handed. Those of us remaining had to choose to stay or go too. Shortly after we got news that the firefighters were no longer fighting the fire for the night.
In times of crisis, it’s easy to pray to God. And at that moment, I knew deep in my heart that God wanted me to go. I quickly sent a text to loved ones, knowing they would pray for us. I said my goodbyes as I knew there was a chance we could die. I wasn’t scared though–I knew God was with us, and we only had to trust Him. He had brought me through so much before, He would not fail me. He would defend those people and me, I only had to obey and trust Him.
Strangely, the winds at that time changed direction. We monitored the fire as wind can change course at any time, but after several hours of monitoring, we realized we did not need to evacuate. I wondered if God had heard our prayers and turned the wind.
In the book of Daniel in the Bible, there is a story about three men who were thrown into a fiery furnace for standing by their convictions. Rather than burning up, God protected them from the fire, so they did not burn. Once they were pulled from the flames, unharmed, they all agreed that there had been a mysterious fourth man in the flames with them. Many Bible scholars believe that this was Jesus. I felt that I had had my own fiery furnace encounter with Jesus. When we trust in Him, we can have peace in the middle of any circumstance meant to destroy or harm us. We have Christ with us, defending us in all circumstances. He is the one in control of the wind, and He will use this disaster to pour out His Holy Spirit over the city of Redding to make His name known to the world.