In my last blog, I related how God was teaching me to trust Him. Minor annoyances (although they did not appear minor when they happened) were threatening to rob me of my peace and joy in Christ. As the Bible mentions the little foxes that spoil the vine, I had my issues with bears bouncing off my car causing damage, and phones not working interfering with my wife's plans to end her daily commute and instead work from home. I began to see that these are indeed minor annoyances and that God was urging me to trust Him and that not trusting was unbelief and my way of not letting God be God. As I began taking tentative steps in this direction, I thought I had learned my lesson. And then came Irene.
For those of you who don’t know, we live in the mountains of upstate New York and a week ago last Sunday received twenty inches of rain from Hurricane Irene in a span of less than eight hours. Normally mountain peaks and valleys are water collectors. They direct the rain waters into creeks which then flow into larger streams, rivers and reservoirs. When heavy rains come creeks swell but usually stay within their banks, but not so with the rains of a hurricane. The pristine creek behind our house became a raging river over a hundred feet wide and carrying a tremendous destructive force, destroying houses, vehicles and personal property—with our house in the middle.
We (my wife and I) had heard the weather report and had gone to bed Saturday night with the intent on checking the creek in the morning. Our plan was to watch during the day with the intent of going to our daughter’s house should it look like the creek was rising. We fully expected our house to remain untouched in that our house is a foot above the hundred year flood plain. We expected no more than that. However we wanted to be safe rather than sorry and so our plan to go to higher ground if the creek began to get close. From the weather reports, we figured that might be sometime around the middle of the day. The worse we expected was power outages—just a minor inconvenience. At seven in the morning the creek had risen to the base of the maple right outside our sunroom--past the hundred year flood mark. There were still at least four hours of heavy rain to come. We decided to leave.
We were unable to get to our intended destination because the road in that direction had already washed out. We stayed instead with some friends hoping and praying their house would remain above the deluge. From the vantage point of their front porch we watched fascinated as evidence of the water’s destruction floated by. We saw parts of houses, fuel tanks, ATVs, trees, all of which I imagined slamming into our house downstream. The water rose, threatening the houses across the street. A volunteer fireman at the house had an emergency radio but even there news was spotty. Rumors abounded. I went to bed (but not to sleep) that night wondering what the next day would reveal.
The next morning I walked down the street to our house, fearing what I would find. As I drew near I could see our garage first. It was standing, but had suffered great damage. As I got close enough to see the house itself, it too had suffered damage, but the main part was sound. The water had passed through the crawl space under the house leaving the slab and the columns the house rests on intact. Inside, the house was dry. Tears of relief and joy flowed. God is good. Our home had been spared. There was and still is debris scattered all over our yard. Our garage has massive damage to its foundation. One of our cars is probably totaled. We will need excavation work as well as repairs to the house, but overall, we fared much better than many downstream from us.
I share all of this for a reason. Throughout this ordeal I have felt God continuing to urge me as He did with the bears and the phone, “Love me enough to trust me.” I have no doubt it was God’s intervention that spared our house. I can fill up pages of text with the little things that spared our house from greater damage. Yet, even though God has saved our house, I still get ‘the worries’ as new problems come up each day. There is a long way to go until things will ever resemble anything like normal. But, with each new fear, I have the assurance, God saved our house, He can solve these lesser things as well. God, help me to love You enough to trust You.