As most everyone in the great state of Texas knows, we have been in an incredible drought this summer, the heat index notwithstanding. I gave up watering my flowers at least a month ago, and we're barely keeping the yard alive at this point.
I've mentioned this before, but my parents and grandparents live out in the country on the farm my grandfather grew up on. If you've read any Little House on the Prairie books, you know that there are many dangers of living in the country: pestilence, distance from help, and of course, prairie fire.
My mom called me around 5 PM to say that a wild fire was burning out of control heading towards their place. While we were talking, my dad beeped in to tell her to start gathering things up in the house to evacuate. That is the most stricken I've ever heard my mom, when she called me back to ask if there was anything in the house I wanted to hang on to. Providentially, my brother had gone home last minute for the weekend, so they had an extra set of hands and wheels to load up the more irreplaceable things in the house. They grabbed all photos off of the walls, portable family heirlooms, and then took the time to photograph everything they would leave behind. She told me that as she closed the door on the the bare-walled house, she prayed that God would send a miracle.
Then she got on the phone and called me to pray before heading over to my grandparents' to help them pack up and photograph too.
I tweeted and texted asking anyone who could, would pray for my family. Brad and I got on our knees in the living room, and in tears, I begged God to deliver the farm, no, to deliver TEXAS from becoming a scorched earth. I prayed for protection for my family, protection for the fire responders, and ultimately, that an end to the fire would come, in such a manner that anyone who witnessed it could only say that the Lord had intervened and saved. Specifically, we prayed that no matter what, God would be glorified in the situation, whether in prevention or recovery.
About 20 minutes after we got up from our living room floor, my mom called to report (quite fanatically) that IT WAS RAINING. Downpouring!
We spent the rest of the afternoon monitoring the situation. By late evening, the rain had slowed the fire such, that the fire department had it contained. Yesterday, my hometown newspaper reported that the rainstorm directly followed the path of the fire until it was controlled.
In short, it was a miracle.
Only God could have intervened. The fire had consumed more than 1500 acres and was quickly burning through more directly on its way to my parents' place. Glory to God alone for His protection and His mercy.
I will never get over it.
If you would be so kind, please continue to pray for my hometown. While I am praising God for delivering my family from the devastation, many were not spared. Whether they are replacing homes, livestock, or other buildings which are used for their livelihoods, much is left to be done to recover, outside of the emotional trauma itself. Please pray for comfort, for peace, for recovery efforts, and of course...more rain!