Let me start by thanking all of you who prayed: for me, my family, and the church here in New England through Hurricane Irene. God was merciful to us!
Y’know, I believe that when we pray, our starting place is not requesting but abiding. For Jesus said, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. ” John 15:7
For this reason I seldom ask God for something, until I have what I sense is His mind on the situation. I must first spend time in His presence and get His command for the particular situation that concerns me. Then and only then can I pray in faith believing.
When I knew Irene was coming up the East Coast I was mindful of the fact that perhaps our turn had come to experience the wrath of God. I don’t mean to sound bleak but I do believe our nation, as disobedient as it has been, is beginning to experience God’s judgment. Massachusetts certainly has no ground to stand on to say we should be exempt from what the rest of the country is experiencing. So as the storm approached I knew we could really be in for it.
I began by asking God what He wanted for me out of this situation. Was He saying this was it? Was He saying to me “Head for the hills?”
I didn’t get the sense that this was going to bring about destruction for me or my household. I felt the Spirit telling me to pray around the borders of my house seven times in the Spirit, a seven-fold hedge. On Friday I did just that. I started by the blackberry hedge and began to sing around my mother’s property in tongues. The first time around I sensed I was praying for the trees to stand. The second, I was praying for the ground to drink deeply of the rising waters. I prayed over a dead tree that if it fell it would fall straight down and not come near the house. I prayed that no flood would come to destroy. I asked that the gardens would be spared. I prayed over the transformer at the corner of our property. I prayed a shield of Holy Ghost protection over the walls of the house and the vehicles. I asked God to use the storm to cleanse the land of pestilence. I asked God to prosper us. On Saturday a group of us prayed over the church.
Early Sunday morning the storm arrived. The rains fell thick and heavy as I walked the dogs at 6 A.M.. We were soaked to the skin in under a minute. The vernal brook that wraps around our house quickly swelled . Debris washed down from the upper pond. By 7 A.M. the brook had swollen to the top of its banks. By 8 it had risen out of its borders and had taken command of the woods and back yard. It poured over the culvert below our house and into the street flooding our basement and those of our neighbors around the corner. By 9 we had eight inches of water in our cellar and could swim in our backyard. My mother, my sister and I headed to the cellar and began to bail in order to keep the furnace from being submerged. We bailed for a while and then called the town barn to ask them to come clean the culvert.
A beech tree loosened by the swelling waters fell over directly between the apple and plum-tree and didn’t break either!
The storm winds blew through the night and knocked over one more tree by the brook. The waters receded quickly once the town came and cleared the debris out of the culvert.
As I watched the news this morning, I realized how blessed we truly were here in Winchendon. God chose to spare us and answer our prayers. Not one of our fruit trees was damaged. The waters are gone and left no sign of the flood. We now have wood down for next winter and all we have to do is cut it up! And my mother has decided after a decade of haggling with her it is time to get a sump pump! As I see the footage of New York, New Jersey, and Carolina I realize His answer to me when I sought Him could have been far different. The pathway of protection was mine to walk in this instance. For that I am grateful. But I am also mindful that should my pathway have been different God would still have been with me and He would still have provided even if it had been through loss.