Recently our small town was hit by an ice storm. This pretty much coincided with the storm that is currently happening in our country right now. (Don’t worry I will never get political in a big way here.) My family has been directly impacted because of the shutdown because my husband Derick works for the U.S. Forest Service (that is why I use the hashtag #menintrees.) So many people in our town were without power for a whole night and early the next morning they opened up city hall and brewed hot coffee to keep people warm. Most everyone I know in our town felt their hearts swell from the outpouring of kindness and the sense of community we all felt.
During an ice storm it can be very pretty, but there is always a mess left behind. After the storm, after the power came back on, and after the ice melted—I noticed something strange about our yard in particular. We didn’t have ANY down limbs. Not one. I don’t even think our trees lost so much as a twig.
Now, I thought about this at the time and thought, you know that is actually a blessing. We have a lot on our plate right now. But in the weeks since, the feeling of the blessing has swelled even bigger in my soul. Last week I had two friends text me with daunting news and as I have been processing things with them and trying to serve and love on them anyway I can—I was reminded again about the branches.
This Thursday the city is going to have them all picked up, so everyone is literally piling HUGE piles of branches in their ditches to be picked up. I honestly felt a little anxious about the fact that we literally had ZERO branches in our ditch. Some of you know we live on a pretty busy street because our house is a through street on the way to the High School. So most people in our community drive by our house at least once a day. Many people spent all weekend working on cleaning up their yards and dragging branches to their ditches.
You get it…lots of branches.
So where is the blessing in this? Honestly friends, I feel like sometimes we forget how big of a blessing LACK can sometimes be. When you have a full plate, lots of stress, friends going through hard things, and a cold on top of it—sometimes you just need a little grace. I honestly feel like God decided we didn’t need one more thing on our plate. He literally saw that one tiny branch might break the proverbial camel’s back in our household.
So do we see it? Do we notice the blessings that are from lack that God designed just for us? Or do we glance over them, shrug, and move on?
God made it very clear to me that this wasn’t a blessing that I was going to miss. He wanted me to see it, feel it, and glorify him with it. That is the joy in sharing this blessing with you all. Not only do I get to experience it, but you get to hear about it and be lifted in the hope of a blessing in lack thereof. Friends, never forget that God moves in mysterious ways, he is in control of even the ice laden branches. He cares about us and intends to help us and bless us in any way he can. We just have to see it.