I pray for trees.
I don’t know if this is a middle-aged crazy lady thing or a just a trust-God-in-all-things thing. Perhaps it’s a bit of both. But yesterday, I found myself praying for my trees.
Hurricane Isaias seemed like it would be a non-event. Maybe I no longer worry about storms that don’t bring Jim Cantore to town or maybe my threshold for what gets categorized as chaotic and dangerous is greater after the first half of 2020, but I really didn’t think much about this storm. Over the weekend, I did my regular grocery shopping and I didn’t even buy water bottles even when I noticed a few people with carts full of supplies.
It wasn’t until yesterday afternoon, as I sat in my home office and noticed the wind pick up and the dark clouds roll in, that I started to wonder if maybe I had not prepared as I should. I went outside to pull the basketball hoop down and an angry sky stared down at me.
I checked the forecast and relaxed a bit. Sustained winds in the 50 MPH range, with max occasional winds of 75 MPH, and not too much rain. I have a generator and a pantry full of food, I thought. We’ll be fine.
But what about my trees? I love the trees in front of my house. They shelter our home, providing shade for us, and they are also the home for a couple of red birds. I lost a giant piece of my favorite tree last fall, so I know they aren’t indestructible. And then my neighbor in the culdesac lost a tree just like one of mine maybe two weeks ago, following a very mild storm. What if my trees couldn’t withstand the coming winds? Maybe I should have had them trimmed back. Maybe I should have at least called the tree guy before storm season.
I didn’t know what to do and there really wasn’t anything I could do. So I relinquished the worry as I put my hand on each tree and asked God to protect it.
Audrey caught me and asked what I was doing. Mommy, you’re praying for the trees?! She grinned at me and laughed a little, and I could tell she wasn’t sure what to think of me. But you know what? That’s OK. I decided it was a teaching moment and hoped I wouldn’t regret my words. I love these trees and God knows the desires of my heart, I told her. What’s important to me is important to Him.
Sometimes we know a storm is coming, and we prepare. Sometimes we have no idea that a storm is coming and we are caught unprepared. Sometimes we know a storm is coming and we fail to prepare.
I thought about those three categories of storm preparedness throughout the night as I listened to the wind whip around my house. But I did not look out the windows to check on my trees, determined to trust they’d be fine. Hoping that if I had enough faith, they’d be fine.
This morning, Audrey and I went out for a walk and found that our trees had a few branches that needed tending, but they were standing tall and absolutely fine. Better than fine – they were beautiful, actually, as the bright blue sky showed through their branches.
And I recalled the words of Dharius Morshun Daniels, who I watched preach recently, and I realized there’s a fourth category of storm preparedness: sometimes we have no idea a storm is coming, but we find ourselves prepared. His words came back to me: Just because you’re surprised doesn’t mean you’re not prepared.
Prayer is part of preparation. Faith is part of preparation.
Dharius Morshun Daniels went on to say When I look at God’s track record in my past, doubting Him in my present is actually illogical. It would seem like faith would be illogical, but when you look at how faithful God has been, it’s actually doubt that is illogical.
There hasn’t been a time when God has not come through…even with my trees.