During the fall of 1825, Samuel Willey, Jr. moved into a small house in the heart of Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, with his wife, five children, and two hired men. During the first year of occupancy, the three men enlarged and improved the house that the family operated as an inn to accommodate travelers through the mountains on the desolate notch road. The little cluster of buildings was situated in the shadow of what is now called Mount Willey. On the slope of the mountain, just above the back of the property, stood a solid outcropping of boulders.
During the night of August 28, 1826, after a long drought that had dried the mountain soil to an unusual depth, there came one of the most violent and destructive rainstorms ever known in the White Mountains. Due to the storm, the Saco River rose twenty feet overnight. Livestock was carried off, farms were set afloat, and great gorges were cut in the mountains.
Two days after the storm, anxious friends and relatives penetrated the debris-strewn valley to learn the fate of the Willey family. They found the house unharmed, but the surrounding fields were covered with debris due to a terrible landslide. Huge boulders, trees, and masses of soil had been swept from Mt. Willey’s newly bared slopes. The house had escaped damage because the ledge of rock above the house divided the major landslide into two streams.
The split caused the slide to pass by the house on both sides leaving it untouched. Inside, beds appeared to have been left hurriedly, a Bible lay on the table, and the dog howled mournfully. Mr. and Mrs. Willey, two children, and both hired men were found nearby, crushed in the wreckage of the slide. Three children were never found.
Apparently, when the Willey family heard the rumbling sound of a landslide, they had left their home behind in search of a more secure haven. Unfortunately, in doing so they left the only safe haven in the vicinity and lost their lives. *
Due to our sin, we are destined for the “landslide” of judgment, condemnation, and destruction (Romans 6:23). But there is a SAFE HAVEN; it is found IN CHRIST. “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus …
who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1,4).
God loves us so much that He gave His Son to pay the price for our sins by dying on
the cross. “IN HIM we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
Those who enjoy salvation in Him are those who: place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:27).
All human efforts to shelter ourselves from the penalty of SIN are futile!
In order to be saved from our sins, we must seek NO other refuge than that which God has provided: placing our trust in the Rock (Jesus Christ) that stood in sin’s destructive path in our stead, thereby providing salvation for us.
David A. Sargent, Minister