The act of writing, of sharing the circumstances, the gifts and the graces planned and carried out by my Savior and God brings joy, peace, and contentment to know that He has my life in His hands. My prayer for those who read, who share in what I continue to learn each day, many times through my weakness, is that you will be encouraged to look for God's presence and grace in your life also.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lessons from a hail storm...

Sometimes I think we are the most forgetful people on the earth....Christians.
     We who believe in God without a doubt...
             We who know God, all about Him.....
                     We who talk to Him most days....
                             We who say He is in control
                                     We who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He has a perfect plan..

And then we forget...and forget...and forget.

But in the book of John, it is pretty obvious that the disciples kept forgetting too.  I guess our memory deficiency isn't a new thing.

After big miracles we see Jesus asking his closest friends, "Do you NOW believe?"  It was like they couldn't apply what happened and what He had taught them in the past to the present. Even after He had told them over and over that His Father was in heaven, that He is in His Father in heaven and His Father in heaven is in Him, they still wanted to know who He really was.

Even after all the miracles, even bringing Lazarus back from the dead, they didn't understand when He said He would rise again.  They couldn't take past experiences and apply them to what was happening now.

So the question is, how well do I apply what I know to be true?

This week Colorado Springs, parts of it, a large part, was hit by hail twice in a 24 hour period--hail, golf ball size hail and lots of rain and wind.  Here in the north-west corner of the city, we were spared... this time. So no hail and very little rain.

Friends and strangers are all talking about how their gardens are gone, their flowers are gone--when it all been so beautiful. In a few minutes, well 90 minutes to be exact, their beautiful yards were gone--shredded by those hail stones.

Someone on Facebook said yesterday that there has to be a spiritual application in all of this...

Since God is writing His story in each of our lives in everything that happens, she is right.

I grew up on a dairy farm about 50 miles north east of here. And we were in the path for many bad hailstorms.  Mom had buckets stragically placed at the edges of her huge garden and she watched the sky carefully. She knew what hail clouds looked like.  At the slightest tinge of green, everyone within hearing range of her scream of "hail coming" ran for the garden to put those buckets over tomatoes and anything else we could.  Sometimes, we couldn't even get back to the house because of the storm's fast approach and would have to take refuge in the old garage/workshop, with the metal roof.

There were a couple of years where the only thing saved from TOTAL destruction were those few plants sheltered under the buckets.  All of Dad's crops, all the leaves on the trees, windows, roofs and siding on the buildings were either gone or severely damaged.

Isaiah 25:4 "For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,"

Psalm 55:8 "I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest." 

A shelter from the storm...and praise God, He is our shelter from the storms of life.  We can run to Him for protection, for shelter.

I have been asked several times in the last day about what can/should be done with these ruined, decimated, bedraggled garden plants.  The big question is "Will they survive?" 

In life, the strongest people, trees, and plants are those who have been through the tempest, the storms..they survive because they have strong roots. They have a source of nourishment to help them grow.

 With plants, we have to treat them gently for a little while after they have been beaten up 
   Trim off the dead leaves,
         Fertilize them immediately,
               Be sure they have water,
                    Love them well. [I do talk to plants and tell them how I feel about them.]

Life is hard.  It is filled with disappointments.  We need shelter from the storm. And we need TLC when we are going through a storm and more TLC when the storm is over. That is all part of the "one another" teachings in Scripture.

The result?  With plants...usually in a few weeks they are even more beautiful than before if they have a strong root system already developed so they get new growth quickly.

And isn't that how we are.  If our root system is strong, if we are abiding in the Vine that has our strength and nourishment--ALL we need, we will recover quickly to a point where we are even more fruitful than before.

And it is fun to watch those plants come back from "nothing", the new leaves come out, greener than ever; the tiny buds form only to develop into bright and beautiful new blossoms...all giving evidence of a great Creator with a marvelous plan.

I Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."

Hebrews 10:24-25 "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."

And next time...with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will better remember that He does indeed have a plan and the storms are part of it.

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