My eyes slowly peeked open at 11:18pm. The hail that was crashing down on the skylight in our bedroom had to be the size of a small watermelon. The storm that blazing through our city wanted to make sure it’s presence was known.
Buckets of rain pelted our home and began to form rivers in the streets.
I could hear the sirens of emergency vehicles.
My first thought was which little girl was going to be the first to jump in bed with us.
My bet would be our thirteen year old.
So far the halls were quiet.
One of my favorite things to do is sit on our porch and watch the rain. I contemplated getting up and going out there. My husband and I have spent countless nights enjoying the tree sway in the breath of the storms.
The thought of being too awake to fall back asleep won over the rocking chair on the porch.
I gave a quick run through of all the things that I needed to worry about.
Are the dogs really smart enough to go into the shed and take cover?
Are the cars pulled in far enough not to get any hail damage?
Are we going to lose electricity?
Somewhere between worrying about everything and waiting for the girls to parade in, I fell back to sleep.
In the morning I set out on my morning walk before the girls got up. Not because I’m ambitious but because I need to make sure that my pants fit.
We have 72 oak tress in our front yard and each one of them had laid at least half of their leaves on the ground below them. There was a foot of dead leaves making a blanket over our yard.
My husband has a date with a rake.
I never really took my eyes off of the ground. The tiny rivers that raced each other down the streets just hours before had cut dirt paths in our yards and even took out some of the concrete that form our roads. A few tree limbs dangled from the trunks that usually held them firmly in the ground.
I thought back to the sirens that I heard in the dark of the night and wondered where they were headed. What other damaged happened that I couldn’t see on my walk.
I was amazed at all the chaos a two-hour storm had caused.
I got back to my warm house and whispered into my daughters ears that it was time to get up.
Cinnamon rolls were rising in the oven.
My oldest triplet who is 6 years old sat up and said “mommy, I heard that storm last night and the thunder was loud but I was a big girl and wasn’t scared because I know that God needed to give water to the animals. They’re healthy now”.
So, while I was focused on the destruction of the storm my little girl was thinking about the beauty it would bring when it was over.
We have a hard time understanding why we are caught in the middle of a raging storm or why it was even put on us in the first place. After it has passed we can’t take our eyes off the mess it made.
We get stuck in a “why me” whine that we can’t seem to shake.
The storms come through our life through God’s plan and even when we can’t seem to understand it , He will bring us through it and He absolutely has a reason for it.
He doesn’t make us weather the storm so that He can leave a wake of destruction in our lives. He does it to quench the things in our lives that are facing a drought. He does it to shed the leaves from the trees that have become more of a heavy weight than a thing of beauty.
Sometimes our storms feel like hail the size of watermelons are crashing down on us and we know that at any moment the skylight will come crashing in.
But our God is the God of reconstruction, renewal and revival. He is the calm, the rain and the wind.
He will shed the dead leaves from our lives to make room for something more beautiful and He cuts rivers through us that will put us on His path. He will pour down hail that will rattle our thoughts and send shocks of lighting to jump-start our hearts.
When it becomes still again He will take you to the animals and let you see that they have been quenched. He will help you to take your eyes off of the missing concrete and aim them towards Him.
He will lead you to a better job.
He will renew your marriage and revive your heart.
He will fill your mind with peace.
He will show you the reason why He brought the storm. All we need to do is have faith in Him while we are in the middle of it.
Loving Father thank you for bringing the rain. Help us to have peace in the storms. When we are caught in the middle of the hail, gently place your hands over our heads until we are able to see the sunshine. In Jesus name, amen.
I think this morning when I head out on my walk I will take my focus off of the destruction and focus on the beauty that God is renewing. By that I mean I will focus on getting my husband to rake the leaves so that we can see the grass again.