There was a terrible storm last evening. Just about 2 years ago we went through a freak storm that did some damage to our old home. It hailed so hard and the wind blew so strong (it was actually a tornado we found out later) that we moved into the basement with the kids. When we came up, siding looked like swiss cheese all through the neighborhood in which we used to live. It was very scary. Last night as the wind howled and the hail pounded the windows my children were frightened remembering what had been. Their fear was abated by snuggling and prayer and we watched the storm rage outside in relative peace until my oldest looked outside to check on the garden.
We had been dreaming of putting in a garden for years but the postage-stamp sized yard in our last home made it an impossible dream. When we moved to this house with over 1/2 an acre, the first thing the kids talked about was the garden. We talked about where we would plant it, what we would plant...we couldn't wait for spring to come! Saturday was going to be the day we'd plant the much-anticipated garden. We went and purchased all of our plants and seeds, compost and top soil. The kids could barely wait until we got home and ate lunch to start. We hit a "small" snag, however, the borrowed tiller wouldn't (despite prayer, pleading and several kicks) start. There were tears and frustration but the promise of my parent's tiller and their assistance on Memorial Day made up for it.
Monday morning the kids were ready to get started long before my parents arrived. They couldn't wait for daddy to get home from work at 10:30. They (almost) drove me crazy asking if it was time yet. When my parents and their daddy arrived almost simultaneously the kids were ecstatic. It was, finally, going to happen. Despite the almost 90 degree heat the kids jumped right in working as hard as the rest of us, picking up the tilled up grass and stones - wheelbarrows full of stones - and working in the topsoil and compost alongside their grandparents and parents. It truly was a beautiful thing to work so hard together. When it was finished and all was planted, we just stood back and admired the fruits of our labor. Ahh...all the dreaming had finally come true.
Just a few short hours later, the aforementioned storm arrived. We looked out to see the tomato cages blown over onto tender plants and the entire thing flooded. When the hail started, I truly thought the garden was gone. The disappointment and tears of my children were almost heartbreaking. They had waited so long and worked so hard. Lord, why? I wondered silently.
Then the storm stopped and we rushed outside to survey the damage. There was none. Yes, it was flooded, but none of the soil had washed away. Plants were blown over, but no stems were broken so they were easily righted. The tomato cages were placed upright and the slightly-bedraggled plants leaned against them. My oldest, literally jumped with joy and thanked God for protecting our garden.
Then we looked around and saw that there was damage all around us, people were without power, trees were down, mailboxes blown around, a trampoline blew through our yard and across the street...Wow! And we were worried about our garden. I was humbled as I realized that perhaps the garden had become an idol, more important than it should have been in my life. After all, I was more concerned about it (and the hard work it represented) than our home and our neighborhood during the storm.
God spared our garden, but in doing so, He taught our hearts a lesson about what is really important.