This is a personal blog, written after my wife and I experienced a devastating wind storm that took down dozens of trees on our lake property. It happened about 2 in the morning. With the light of dawn we viewed the devastation all around us. Thankfully our home was spared, but not the silver cabin down by the lake. We have spent many days cleaning up. Job 38:1 and 40:6 became a reality for me, “Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm.” Here is some of what I have learned through this frightening and disconcerting storm.
First, how dependent I am on the Lord. I have continually cried out for mercy. “Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Ps 57:1). For me the disaster has not yet passed, but I will stay in the shadow of his wings. I am not what you would call “a fix it guy.” I can do physical work fairly well for a guy who will be 75 in August. But mechanics is at the bottom of my talent pool. One night when I could not sleep, I sat in the chair, calling out to the Lord. Men, this is how you get through a storm – lean upon the Lord like a dependent child. “But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother” (Ps 131:2)
In my dependence I recalled the words, “man up.” I have used that phrase often in working with men, mainly in our need to rightly order our relationships. But in my present circumstance I am learning to “man up” by facing the storm damage one step at a time with God’s help. With God’s grace I desire to “man up.” Psalms 107:13 tells us, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved then from their trouble.” I have a choice each day – look to the Lord for help or focus on the physical needs all around me. The storm exposed my natural deficiencies as a man. I can say with Paul, “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (II Cor. 12:10).
It has been a blessing to see God’s hand in our recovery. At just the right time there would be someone available to help with a project that seemed to big for me. Just one example. A man I had recently met here on the lake was working along side the road gathering some fallen pine with his bobcat. I said I would help him with some of myfallen pines, if he would just take them away. The job was done in two hours. For me it was almost like an angelic visit. The point men is this – When we “man up” and trust him, especially in our weakness we will see the hand of God. I am giving testimony to this reality.
Secondly, I have had to taste once again my vulnerability as a man . Dealing with the physicality of caring for a place in the woods and on the lake is difficult for me. Other men love it and rise to the occasion. For myself, my calling is that of a “monk” at our small retreat house on the lake. It is very humbling to admit my fear and insecurity as I face each day’s challenges. But I can honestly say there has been a new freedom in being honest regarding my incapacities. Remember men, you can’t be and do everything. We need to give our incapacities to the Lord.