Burned by Fire

"God I still believe in You."

-Dave Roever

Dave Roever is a man who has endured much. His story of physical suffering was etched on his body while he was burned alive in a riverbank during the Vietnam War, back in 1969. Even in the midst of the flames, as he became a man without skin, and as body parts melted, he yelled out, “God, I still believe in You!” With those words, he hoped the men watching would not blame God, and he knew, God was with him in the riverbank.

While his initial response was that of faith, he acknowledges that soon after, he began asking, “Why is this happening?” Yet, as God healed his heart and changed his perspective, Roever realized, suffering happens to ALL people, on MANY levels. No one has gone through life and not experienced suffering. He says, “There are a thousand ways to get hurt, and only one way to be healed.” Rather than asking, “Why is this bad thing happening to me,” ask, “Why am I being blessed?”

As you walk through life with your scars, or perhaps gaping open wounds, here are some things to ponder:
  • You are not alone:
    There are other people suffering, just like you.

Our Heavenly Father is close to you, and waits patiently for you to call on Him. He is as close as the mention of His name, Jesus.

  • Things happen. When they do, remember, you have an audience:
    People are watching to see how you’ll respond.

God is with you. You have a chance to let His glory shine through you into the darkness, or you can let the darkness smother the fire that could have been used to warm others with similar pains and struggles.

  • More good news:
    “God didn’t do it to us, but God trusts us with our scars. Nothing speaks more volumes than a scar. A scar is an epic story of an experience that damaged and hurt, but did you know scar tissue comes back strong and tougher, and you can experience more hurt in the future without hemorrhaging to death.” – Dave Roever

Jesus has shared in our suffering. He knows our hurts and temptations and has felt them personally. His victory is our victory, if we trust Him to fight for us.

Suffering and Scars are the Passports into the lives of others as evidenced by:
  • The evidence you got hurt.
  • The evidence you got over it.
  • The evidence you have empathy for others.
Words to Live By:

“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,” Philipians 1:12 (NIV).




Dave asked, “Why do Christians always want to run to the light, instead, run into the darkness to BE the light.” Yes, we need Christian brothers and sisters to speak into our lives and encourage us, but is there something that has happened in your life, a scar, either physical or emotional, that gives you empathy for someone else who might still be in the middle of that same struggle? Speak light into the darkness!



Grace Notes by Philip Yancey

“I take hope in Jesus’ scars. From the perspective of heaven, they represent the most horrible event that has ever happened in the history of the universe. Even that event, though, Easter turned into a memory. Because of Easter, I can hope that the tears we shed, the blows we endure, the emotional pain, the heartache over lost friends and loved ones, all these will become memories, like Jesus’ scars. Scars never completely go away, but neither do they hurt any longer” (113).



Recommended Resources:

Visit “Restoring the Wounded,” at the Roever Foundation webpage.

Song: Jason Gray’s  “Nothing Is Wasted.”

Real People, Real Stories, Real God®




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Burned by Fire