Well the fire that threatened the area is not out yet, but it has moved out of my area so me and mine are safe for the time being.
This was a pretty bad fire. It's not out and they're already calling it the largest fire in history for the county. Thus far 150,000+ acres have been burned. The containment area the firefighters are using has a fifty mile perimeter, which they describe as being roughly the size of Chicago.
But that's not why I'm writing this.
First off, I want to thank every last one of you who has prayed for me and my family (and to an extent, the people in the general area). To know that fellow Christians are taking the time to pray for you when you're looking at a disaster that's bearing down on your front door is tremendously uplifting. Words aren't enough, but I'll try to do your efforts justice, if I can.
Second, this fire has shown me firsthand that I was not prepared for a disaster of any sort, let alone the specific ones I'm likely to face where I live. Nate's talked about the experience that turned him into the insanely prepared redneck he is and JAC may have one of his own. Well, this is mine. My family and I had talked about what would be done if a fire started in our area and even put a plan down on paper for the stuff we would need to grab if we had to evacuate, but reality hit and tore our battle plan to shreds, even if we came out alright. As a result, I'm taking my own disaster preparation into high gear and have already started work to better prepare myself. For this, I thank both Nate and JAC for the preparations they've listed and suggested.
But the last and greatest reason is that I have seen what I believe to be nothing less than a miracle given from God's own hands. This requires a little history on the fire itself.
I first knew that the fire was going to be a very real factor for me and mine on Thursday when it managed to crest the mountain range our home is on and looked like it was making straight for our doorstep. This was proving to be a very difficult fire to contain, let alone put out because the majority of the area it was burning through was undeveloped land, which meant that the firefighters had to rely a lot on air drops to deal with the blaze, and I have no idea how effective those drops are. But it added up to a picture that said our home was likely to get consumed in this unholy blaze.
But in the aftermath of that very tense weekend, the fire was actually burning both to the east and west of my home, following the part of the mountain range it had started on, but coming no closer to any of the homes in the area. It was like the fire hit a wall in between it and the homes in the area. What's more, for the entire time it was in my area, the fire claimed no civilian lives, no homes, and only two firefighters lost their lives when their vehicle went off the road (I have no idea if that was a direct cause of the fire or not). All in all, for a fire as hungry as this one seemed (I attached pictures of some of the burned areas), I don't know how else but to describe it but as miraculous. And while I don't know if the firefighters' work was the vehicle for God's miracle, if it was angels, or if God decided to take the direct approach, I do know that I don't need to know how God authored the miracle; only that He did and thank Him for it. The trouble I had in writing this part is that I had a burning desire (no pun intended) to tell this to y'all, but I don't know how to describe what I felt when I gazed upon the destruction that had come so close, yet passed me by without leaving a mark on me without feeling like I was leaving something out or cheapening it. I still don't know how to describe it. All I can settle on is that Jesus heard and responded, and I am dumbfounded by the might of His response.
Well, it's late here, and I need my rest for work tomorrow. God's blessing on you and your family, and take care.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Epiphany: ZP and Co. may be the only reason California isn't a cinder.
It's always useful to get "boots on the ground" info on national events.