There have been several places along the road home where workers are filling up sand bags and handing out wattles (you know, those long tubes along the highways filled with straw) to help protect those homes closest to the mountain.
Helicopters have been dropping straw on the mountain to try to prevent erosion.
On Tuesday the rains came. Not in our neighborhood, we barely got a drop. But right on the mountain, right in the exact place that was feared could do the most damage.
With all the preparedness, with all the preventative measures that were taken...it didn't seem to matter at all. Timberline and Wupatki Trails have major flooding. We heard of a story where a home owner dug a 2' deep trench on the mountain side of his house and built up sandbags and wattles 2' high - the water/mud came rushing down and knocked it right over.
On and off over the past couple of months I've been reading Pete Wilson's book Plan B. About halfway through the book he talks about how the truth, or untruth, of the statement, "God will never give you more than you can handle". He says, "Here's the truth - and this one is thoroughly biblical: throughout your life you will face one situation after another that will be completely beyond what you can handle." pg 102 We have to choose, "...either abandon God or worship him in the midst of a Plan B". When we find ourselves in a situation that is beyond what we can handle, we've hit "the wall" (Pete Wilson quotes from Janet Hagberg and Robert Guelich pg 103).
"Whatever happens, we find ourselves at the end of our ability to handle our lives. We probably also find ourselves questioning ourselves, God, the church. We discover for the first time that our faith does not appear to "work." We have more questions than answers. We don't know where God is, what he is doing, where he is going, how he is getting us there, or when this will be over. The very foundation of our faith feels like it is on the line." pg 104
....or, in danger of being washed away in a mudslide.
Pete Wilson goes on to say, "If you don't remember God's past faithfulness, you're going to have a hard time trusting him when you're up against the wall." pg 106
Bring on the wattles and sandbags. Sheer up the foundation.
"These moments are crucial because God is trying to get you to the place where you can't handle things on your own, where you are willing to surrender your plans in order to receive his. He is trying to mature your faith." pg 108
1 Peter 1:6,7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ...
I hesitate bringing up my next hearts' question because I don't want to create questions where there are none for those other moms who have lost babies. But, I don't have the same peace that others seem to have about the issue of infant salvation. I have searched the Bible. It doesn't say, explicitly or implicitly, what I want it to say. In fact, some verses seem to speak of the exact opposite. I was sent a link to an article written by Randy Alcorn. In the article he acknowledges all of my questions, all of the hard stuff that I've been struggling with. He doesn't answer my questions. But, the fact that he sees the problems that I have and yet, for the most part, believes that infants go to heaven when they die is comforting.
OK. I can take comfort and hope that my little Noah has a special place in God's sight and that he is safe in the arms of Jesus.
And I know that I will not be ashamed.
Today I'm choosing to trust Him. Again and again I need to make that choice. He will help secure me. No amount of water can knock my house over when I'm standing on Him and His promises.
Back in the "real" world, it's raining on the mountain. It looks so quiet and peaceful. But, there's a nervousness running through our neighborhood. Will all the wattles, sandbags, and trenches hold back the water/mud when/if it comes.