George Keith’s 18th-century hymn “How Firm a Foundation” has proved a great comfort to Christians through the years. It lauds the wonders of the Bible.
Its second verse, in particular, has helped those facing suffering. It says, “In every condition, in sickness, in health, / In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth, / At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea, / As days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.”
That’s a truth that one pastor in Tampa, Florida, is learning firsthand. According to WAGA-TV, Oscar Bevins traveled to Vermont with his wife, Sharon, for a Christmas vacation.
It was supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation. Instead, they received horrible news from their son that brought them back home.
Rather, I should say that the news brought them back to the place that used to be their home. While they’d been away, a fire had destroyed the Bevins’ property.
Their home wasn’t luxurious to begin with, a mere mobile home. But it contained all of their worldly belongings.
“Some would say, ‘Well, it’s a single wide trailer,’” Bevins told Bay News 9. “Well, it was home for almost 30 years, and now it’s nothing.”
He added, “It’s just unbelievable. How much destruction a fire like this can actually do.”
That wasn’t the only issue the couple faced. Forty-eight hours prior, someone had stolen their car and safe.
Bevins mentioned the robbery on Facebook. Then he wrote that he had a security system installed and said that he likely had the culprits on camera.
It was Dec. 26 when the fire started. Police immediately concluded that it was suspicious.
The most befuddling thing wasn’t the suspected arson or the utter devastation. It was what survived.
Much to Bevins’ surprise, a Bible he’d left at home had mostly made it through the conflagration.
True, its edges were scorched, but much of it was still completely legible, and that encouraged the pastor.
“The generosity and the support that we’re getting from the church members and friends and family and everybody else is such that no matter what happens to you, you’re going to be O.K.,” he said. “I keep feeling like my normal reaction would be to look down.
“But I know I need to keep looking up. And I keep looking up and I know that God has a plan for my life and he’s going to do what needs to be done.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.