In 2018, my family suffered through one of the largest fires in Shasta county’s history. The Carr Fire devastated the Shasta county area, leaving many families without homes or stuck outside of their homes for months on end while repairs were made, smoke was cleared away, and the fire was fought. After spending 6 weeks in a home we felt was a gift from God, the Mason family was evacuated along with family friend Graham Coyle. We stayed out of our home for three months before we were finally able to return.
Less than 6 months later, a snow storm bigger than anything Redding had ever seen before hit. It was “snowmageddon.” Many residents had pipes freeze. Large portions of the city lost power. For a week, the snow made roads less safe, power unreliable, and the world a white wonderland for kids and nightmare for adults. The trees that survived the fire, were lost in the snow.
Romans 5:3-5 says “3And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
The word “hope” in this verse is actually ἐλπίς which translates more literally to having a “joyful and confident hope in eternal salvation.” In the preceding verse, the Bible suggests we have a hope in the”glory of God.”
One of the verses that has given me the most encouragement in my trials has been Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” It reminds me that God works my trials for good whether I see that good in my life, the lives of others, or whether it comes about after my lifetime. It pushes me to look for the good that God is doing.
Robert Frost’s poem “Fire or Ice” is apocalyptic. He is, quite literally, discussing the end of the world (by fire or ice). The fact that I have seen great fires and snow storms encourages me to look for the hope for eternal salvation at the “end of the world.” I am encouraged today because, despite remembering the trails I faced during the Carr Fire and Snowmaggedon, I also remember the hope for the future, the hope I have in Him.
It is currently spring in Redding. After the Snowmaggedon melted away in 2019, there were the most beautiful wildflowers I had ever seen. Fields of them sprung up around our house and along the roads in our neighborhood where before there had been ashes. The snow had watered the ground making it a perfect breeding ground for the stunning artwork of God. This spring, the same wildflowers grow and remind me of the good work God is doing and the hope I have in Him.
I wrote this poem in that first spring after the fire and the snow. I wrote it with inspiration from Robert Frost’s poem but I wrote it with inspiration from God’s word as well. I hope it inspires you, as it inspires me, to remember that hope we have in Him.
"Some say the world will end in fire,
some say in ice."
I have seen the two.
The fire's desire consuming the briar,
The night's flames playing games,
Its ire framed.
The world watched us burn.
But ice's hate slices twice.
The splicing device which would suffice,
To kill the rest, blessed
To have best the previous test.
Stressed, we ask advice.
And peeking through, sunshine leaks.
Clouds turn cheek as golden rays streak.
Perfume replaces gloom.
We presume the bleak is over.
And I wonder
If by our Father,
Ice, or fire, or neither.
Hannah Mason is a native of New Zealand and immigrated to the USA in 2008. She is an avid reader and dog lover and can often be found, book in hand with her mini golden-doodle, Asha. Hannah started writing with the intent to publish when she was 12 years old and has since had her poetry published in numerous anthologies. In 2015, Hannah was diagnosed with a nerve condition. After her life turned upside down, Hannah found an outlet in poetry. Hannah is currently studying at BIOLA university and lives with her parents, siblings, and dog in Redding, California. You can follow her HannahMasonAuthor.com or grab a copy of the poetry book on Amazon.com