Stormy Weather, Leaky Roof
Job 38:1 “Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm.”
If you live in Philly, you know this winter was a rough one. A total of 67.6 inches of snow accumulation, and many weather forecasters calling it the “Second Snowiest Winter Ever”. Public school and many private school students missed at least 7 days of school.
During the first storm of the school year our family had a bit of a problem on our hands. Water started leaking into the bedroom belonging to my husband and me. I put a red bucket in the corner of the room to catch the snow water as it fell: drip…. drip…. drip…. Our house has a flat roof with a slight tilt towards the rear of the house. The back left corner of the house is also where the storm drain is located. This is the spot where water began coming through our ceiling. I knew our roof was a bit old (15 years), but I thought perhaps the storm gutter wasn’t draining properly. Or, perhaps it wasn’t firmly attached to the roof. At the worst, we were hoping for a patch job.
We had several roofers come out and they all said the same thing: “Lady, you need a new roof.”
New roofs, of course, are quite expensive, and while we prayed about this leak and whether or not to get a new roof, the second storm of the year came. Once again, water started coming into the bedroom from the back corner of the house. Unfortunately, during this storm it also started coming in through the middle of our bedroom ceiling — in several different spots. My husband and I moved our bed and slept on the living room couch. I put a sled and several buckets down on the floor in the center of our room where our bed had been. Drip, Drip, Drip, Splash, Drip, Drip, Drip, Splash. Cold snow water began filling the buckets and sled quickly. Ugly, brown water spots appeared on our ceiling and it began to look a bit warped.
At this point, my husband and I had to admit that yes, a patch job would not do. We needed a new roof — and quickly! We called a roofer and scheduled an appointment. They had already gotten numerous calls. They wouldn’t be available to install a new roof until the next week.
Unfortunately, a few days later the third storm of the year hit. Now the buckets and sled weren’t enough to handle the barrage of cold water coming through our ceiling. Drip, Drip, Splash, Splash, Drip Splash, Drip. Drip. A 16 gallon storage container that had served as a toy box was dumped and immediately put to use catching the steady onslaught of destructive water. Two sleds were also used instead of one. They all filled with snow water faster than I was comfortable with. I had to empty them regularly in our tub. A large, ugly brown water stain spread over a large portion of our ceiling.
Our leaky roof never affected the strong foundation of our home, but it sure made a mess of our bedroom! Fortunately, roofers came the day before the next big storm hit. We have a new roof now and haven’t had any leaks since.
About 5 years ago our family went through a different series of painful storms. Almost overnight our fairly peaceful home was struck. I cannot go into the nature of these storms here, but suffice it to say that week after week trials bombarded us. Tears were a daily occurrence. Emotionally, we were spent. Physically, I was exhausted. Our house was in disarray; the trials were so time-consuming I didn’t have time to clean. My oldest daughter learned to cook that year because I often didn’t have time to cook. My children needed me, but I didn’t have the time I used to have for snuggling and playing.
Spiritually, my husband and I held firmly to the One who had brought us through trials before, and by His Grace, He again carried us through that difficult time of our lives. But, just as these past winter storms revealed the holes in our roof, the trials we endured 5 years ago revealed the holes in my faith.
I realized I didn’t trust the Lord the way I thought I had, didn’t depend on Him the way I thought I did, didn’t cry out to Him as much as I should have. I am glad we are past our winter storms, and I am very glad we are past the trials our family faced. But looking back, I’m thankful for them as well. We would not have realized our roof was in trouble without them. Likewise, the storms of my life have brought me to a much greater dependency on the Creator of the Universe than I would ever have had likewise.
In the book of Job we read how Job went through a series of terrible tragedies, one after another. They were so great he cursed the day he was born. Shortly after his friends gave their well-meaning advice, a great storm came upon the land, and it was there that Job heard God’s voice clearly. There, in the midst of the storm, he understood God’s power. And though Job never got an answer as to why he had to experience such pain, there, in the midst of the storm, Job developed the greatest intimacy with his Creator.
The short-term effects of storms, when the foundation is secure, are holes, leaks, damage, and other problems. The long-term effects brought about by their repair are a stronger structure that can withstand the elements in those harsher conditions.
I am thankful for a God who would rather see me strong than comfortable, who cares more about my holiness than my happiness. And therefore, though I struggle to praise Him through the storm, and fail miserably in that regard, I choose, with only the strength He can give, to make that my goal.
Beautiful worship song by Casting Crowns, “I Will Praise You in This Storm”:
Psalm 107:28-29 “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.“
Luke 8:24″ The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples.”
Copyright June 5th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette
All Scripture taken from NIV (New International Version)