In February, we bought a little 1940s cottage in a town just northwest of Louisville called New Albany. We’ve really fallen in love with it–our street is quiet and peaceful, and the house itself is cozy and full of charm. It has a good-sized backyard with a detached garage that backs up to an alley behind the house.
Last week, the craziest thing happened. Next to the detached garage stood a huge (probably about 60-feet-tall) tree that had probably been there as long as the house. Around 10pm on Wednesday night, the winds started to rage. No rain, no thunder, no lightning–just wind.
I had gone to bed early with a bad migraine, resting upstairs in our loft-style master bedroom. All of the sudden, I heard a loud crack, and then the power went out. A little disoriented from the migraine, I assumed a pole had broken, and there were just down power lines which resulted in the outage. A few minutes later, however, I heard a loud knock at the door.
It took me a while to get myself together and get downstairs, but I found two men standing on the front porch. “Excuse me, ma’am,” the older gentlemen spoke up politely, “we just wanted to let you know that the big tree next to your garage has fallen across the alley, and onto our house.”
Unsure of what to do and unable to leave my little boy alone in the house, I told them I would take care of it as soon as possible.
Though the power company spent all night outside of the house, sawing the tree and repairing the lines, we were without power until Sunday. There turned out to be electrical damage to our home itself, which was a huge expense that we (naturally) were not anticipating.
The Lord used last week to remind me of several promises from his word, both solemn and encouraging.
“The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Proverbs 27:1
Last week started off so well! I was waking early to have some time with the Lord and a workout before Trippe was awake. I was focusing on being present, not wishing away this current season for a future one and seeing the great beauty of God’s blessings in the moment. This has been a struggle for pretty much my entire life, and I’m grateful that the Lord is starting to transform my thinking to truly be present where I am now. The weather was growing brighter, and we enjoyed some great time with family and friends.
Then, in a moment, everything changed. I was suddenly sick in bed, then the winds came, the tree fell, and we were $1300 poorer.
We anticipate our life to go a certain way, based upon the hopes and dreams that we have, the plans we’ve made, and our past experiences. But yet, we forget that all of this is just a very tentative plan. We can lay out a great map for our lives, but it’s God who moves our feet. He may stick to the map, or he may take us somewhere else entirely.
The beauty of this same truth, however, is that God can also change a bad situation in an instant, just as quickly as he brought down the tree in the storm. He can totally change your plans for good in the same window of time that he can make them seemingly bad. If you’re bogged down by life in this moment, live in that promise! The Lord will bring you through, but he can also bring change so quickly. Never shy away from praying that God will drastically change any situation; even one you can’t fathom being any other way.
“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them into their desired haven. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!” Psalm 107:28-31
God controls the storm. He was in control of the storm that brought down our tree, and he did it for a reason. No aspect of it was an accident; we simply have to trust reasons we cannot yet see. Someday, we will be able to look back and see why God brought this storm, and all of the “storms” of our lives. Even if we don’t find out until we reach heaven, we will see a way.
God is bigger than any storm, even one that brings down a 60-foot tree and causes havoc on a little neighborhood. He’s bigger than hurricanes that cause region-wide destruction. He’s bigger than the storms we will walk through in the days to come. We do not need to be afraid, because we know the One who calms the storm, and he calls us “friend.” Praise God for his everlasting goodness.