Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tucker's prayer

Here's a story my brother-in-law, Tucker, sent me on an answer to desperate prayer...

It is timber burning season, and we have been burning with the north wind for a couple of weeks when the conditions were right. Usually doing what is called backburning against the wind. There were only a couple of spots we had left to do on my property and Clarence’s (my boss/partner) property to the west. I called for a burn permit and alerted 911 that we would be burning yesterday. Ronnie and Mark, a couple of Clarence’s henchmen next door, were burning the SW and NW corners of my pine timber yesterday afternoon to help finish the burning the property. No problem should do fine and it is hard for it to go anywhere with the wind the way it was. As I was coming out of the woods at 5:30, I see them starting to burn south of the shooting house towards the swamp. I tried to whistle to get them to stop because the North wind would send it into the swamp. It did in no time. The fire department was called to the house on the South side of Blackwater Creek at 8pm because it was burning the vines in the trees at least 20 feet high. I was praying like crazy, “Please Lord Father put this fire out.” The river bottom is full of fuel from the hurricanes and flood debris along the river bank. It hasn’t been timbered in 10 years- it is thick. I couldn’t take a bulldozer down there because the ground is, well, swampy, and it would get stuck in no time. Stars in the heavens with only a few light clouds and only a 30% chance of rain. We haven’t had rain in 3 ½ weeks. At 11pm, I couldn’t take it anymore; I had to do something, even though I really couldn’t do anything. Still praying like crazy, I go to the house and grab the 2-3 gallon car washing bucket and head into the swamp. I go to the creek, grab a bucket full of water, and start putting out the portion of the fire that could threaten the house on the south side of the creek. I found a big set of Bay trees that had been blown over in the storm and the stump hole was full of water. This was helpful because it was closer to the fire. At this point, the fire is approximately 7 acres large into my neighbors land to the SW, up and down in the vines and burning steady along the ground. Pine hearts, and old pine stumps burning hot. I looked at the stump hole and filled the bucket up with water and headed to the fire, praying for God’s help, knowing that he could put the fire out with that little bucket. I am telling you the truth as it really happened, after I poured that first bucket out, it began to rain. Not a torrent or anything, it just started sprinkling. I figured I would work the bucket and the stump hole water, and God would handle the rain. At 1am the ground fire was out, the vines were not burning anymore, just some fallen tree stumps and lighter stumps (old pine trees that still contain the kerosene that is used for turpentine). Not a threat. It rained for a couple more hours, nothing major, but enough. Still some smoking in the stumps this morning, but the ground is wet and all should be fine.

Those who know me, know that I am not the freaky, Bible thumpin’, Christian type, I love God and am thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice. I had to share with you because this would have been a disaster and I am so thankful that this blaze is out.

The point and the lesson- God answers prayers and still delivers miracles! We can pray for miracles and changes in our lives, but we must take the first step in faith, even if it all seems impossible. It was impossible for me to put that fire out with a bucket by myself.

the adventure continues...

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