This has been the summer of rain here in Georgia. It seems like daily we have storms sweep through out of nowhere. Our backyard is mostly natural (read: messy) so when storms come through, lots of limbs come down and pinecones are everywhere. I am constantly walking the property and dragging limbs to our future burn pile. You can’t burn in Georgia in the summer because it’s too dry. (the irony) SO I am accumulating a mountain like burn pile that is waiting for October to hit so my son can do one of his favorite things in the world- light something on fire. Yes, this terrifies me. Not the actual burning of the pile but the deep LOVE of burning the pile. Boys.
Anyway, the surplus of rain has been a topic of conversation around here. My neighbor was telling me about her parents who have lived on the same 14 acres for her entire life and about all the storms that have come through in that amount of time. Then she said something so interesting. She said, “For 37 years, the trees fell away from the house.” Every time a storm came and took out trees, they always fell away from the house. For 37 years.
Sometimes all we see is the mess of a fallen tree. And they are messy as evidenced by my mountainous burn pile. They leave debris. They sometimes take our shade, or our favorite swing, or the legacy of our kid’s childhood when they fall and take down the treehouse that has stood for a lifetime of memories. Sometimes they take down our fences that have kept us safe and secure from the outside world. The storm and the aftermath disrupts our lives and our routine. And in the process of recovery we often forget to look around and realize that the trees have fallen away from the house.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)
We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
The storms come. There’s no way around it. If you have lived any years of life at all, you know this is true. No matter how hard we work to keep them at bay, we all walk through the storms of living in a fallen world. The trees will fall. There will be messes to clean up. There will be damage and loss at times that can’t be undone. But if you are reading this, the trees have fallen away from the house. You are still here. The scripture says we will be in extreme difficulties- sometimes on all sides, it says we will be confused by things that are happening, it says we will be knocked down at times...but it also says we will not be destroyed. We will be preserved by the Savior that knows our name and sees our struggles.
Grieve your losses, take time to let your heart heal from the pounding it has taken in the storm. But as you breathe in and out (because sometimes that’s all we can do after the storm)- make sure you lift your head up long enough to look around and realize, the trees have fallen away from the house one more time. Jesus still has you. You will recover and you will rebuild. It may not look like it did before. It may not be what you thought you would be building. But it will be good because it will be with God.