Sunday, June 9, 2013

He Gives and Takes Away

If you are an American, you have probably heard about the devastating tornado damage in Moore, Oklahoma.  I hate to even compare my own situation to this, but not long ago, my family was given a taste (and I mean a taste) of the damaging affects of a storm.  It was not nearly as horrific as what happened to our friends and neighbors in Oklahoma, but it was enough to cause us to further appreciate what it means for an act of nature to be violent enough to destroy parts of your home.  And it's a story to tell, so I will. 

While I was in North Carolina, a tornadic hail storm hit my hometown.  Yes, a tornado touched the ground, although I don't believe it destroyed a single home in my area, thank God.  However, hail the size of golf balls (and in some areas, baseballs) wiped through my town and wreaked minor havoc.

I borrowed this picture from the Facebook of my friend Kayla, and I hope she doesn't mind (if you see this and do mind, let me know).  But look at this.  I almost wish I was there to see the ground blanketed in such massive pieces of ice, like a snowstorm turned into the abominable snowman.

States away, my family had heard about the storm.  We knew hail like that must have damaged our home.  But still, we dreaded to return and see the extent of what it did.

Like I said, it was only a taste of what it could have been, and barely that.  But here is the damage a bit of hail did to my home.

The funniest is our benches.  We have these white, plastic benches we use during barbecues and family get-togethers, when we don't have enough seating in the kitchen.  They open into picnic tables.  Well, these things were absolutely pummeled by the hail.  Destroyed.  Both of them.  I've never seen anything like it.

It's been a few days now, and we still haven't thrown them out.  I think part of it is an, "Ahh, I hate to throw out a formerly perfectly good bench!" mentality, and then also a bit of, "Aww, but I loved these benches!"  Still, it's time for them to go.

On the less funny side, our roof was pretty much wrecked.  We'll have to have it replaced.  This week, my family is thanking the Lord for insurance!  All over our yard are piles of roof material.  My little brother, who is too young for a real job, now has some work cut out for him.  What a mess.

Another not-so-funny part was Ali's car.  The storm pounded her little Honda without mercy.  Her back windshield was completely broken.  Her front windshield looks like a spiderweb.  Her car is now decorated with hundreds of ping-pong-ball-sized dents, bumper to bumper.  We're not sure if this damaged car is redeemable.  We'll have to see.

Other parts of our land and home were damaged, such as our paint, the few small trees on our acreage, our gardens, and our rose bushes.  Our metal barn is badly dented, a window in our house is broken, and we have destroyed railings.  And of course, there are damaged lights, flower pots, and lawn decorations.  Our house was shaken up so much that picture frames fell and broke from the wall.  What a storm this must have been!

All-in-all, the damage done to our home will cost us, but it's nothing compared to losing our house or far worse, a loved one.  As we survey what some mighty winds and angry balls of hail did to our belongings, I cannot help but remember Job, after a storm took his home (and many other terrible things happened as well).  He said in Job 1:21, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."

If, after losing everything, Job could sit back with perspective and praise the Lord, then so can we.

A car is lost, a roof is lost, a lawn is lost.  But these are only things.  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, but He will be praised.

I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to return and see my home turned to rubble and debris, but I pray that I would still have this perspective.  May the name of the Lord be praised.

Even the hail storm itself, the wind and the rain and the ice, offer praise to the Lord.  His glory is undeniable, even by the mighty nature that seems so eager to destroy this time of year.  Psalm 148 says, "Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do His bidding."

In everything, God is worthy to be praised.  In the aftermath of the most terrible storm and in the refuge when it's over, His name should be proclaimed from the ends of the earth.

He is worthy.

Have you stopped to praise Him today?  

Two years ago: The Beautiful Ocean

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