One dark night outside a small town, a fire started inside the local chemical plant. Before long it exploded into flames and an alarm went out to fire departments from miles around. After fighting the fire for over an hour, the chemical company president approached the fire chief and said, “All of our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant. They must be saved! I will give $50,000 to the engine company that brings them out safely!” As soon as the chief heard this, he ordered the firemen to strengthen their attack on the blaze. After two more hours of attacking the fire, the president of the company offered $100,000 to the engine company that could bring out the company’s secret files. From the distance, a long siren was heard and another fire truck came into sight. It was a local volunteer fire company composed entirely of men over 65. To everyone’s amazement, the little fire engine raced through the chemical plant gates and drove straight into the middle of the inferno. In the distance the other firemen watched as the old-timers hopped off of their rig and began to fight the fire with an effort that they’d never seen before. After an hour of intense fighting, the volunteer company had extinguished the fire and saved the secret formulas. Joyous, the chemical company president announced that he would double the reward to $200,000 and walked over to personally thank each senior volunteer. The company president then asked what they intended to do with the reward money. The fire truck driver looked him right in the eye and said, “The first thing we’re going to do is fix the brakes on that truck!”
I mention this because of what we see happening in the beautiful western state of Colorado. Coloradans are experiencing the worst fire in their history and most of the devastation is in one particular city, Colorado Springs, considered the most conservative metropolis in America. It is in Colorado Springs that Focus On The Family and up to 80 other ministry world-headquarters have been and/or are located. It is in Colorado Springs that the Tea Party is said to have had its beginning. It is in Colorado Springs that the Air Force Academy, by far the most conservative branch of the military, is found. And it is in Colorado Springs that you find the smallest municipal government and lowest property taxes of any comparable size city (420,000 pop.) in America. So why is this bastion of traditional values and old-fashioned patriotism being scorched? According to some liberals, it’s Heaven’s judgment on them for being anti gay marriage, anti health reform, anti tax increase, anti raising debt, anti abortion rights, anti public unions, anti big government, anti voter rights, etc. – i.e. following a God of judgment instead of a Jesus of love. But here’s what the Lord said about so-called natural disasters, whether it’s a Hurricane Katrina in sin-city New Orleans or the Waldo Canyon fire in saint-city Colorado Springs.
Suppose ye that these were sinners above all because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:1-5)