Growing up I watched my dad stay up until the 10pm weather forecast was over then he went to bed (how he slept or if he slept depended on the forecast). Nowadays, thanks to technology, most farmers can check the apps on their phones to see the forecast any time of day (but I bet the majority still watch the nightly news to see what the local weatherman has to say at that time of night). I also watched both my parents worry about the weather on numerous occasions. Some things we can control, or at the very least minimize the damage, but some things are beyond our control.
Farmers can prepare for the lack of rain by irrigating crops from well water. However there are very few ways to stop a flood.
When it comes to a freeze, farmers can water the trees (a wet freeze is better than a dry one) or they can try to burn hay to create smoke to keep the heat in. Unfortunately some freezes are just too cold for too long and no amount of water or smoke will save the crop.
Hail, high winds, and tornadoes can only be dealt with in prayer. In just a few minutes a severe hail storm can strip a tree bare or a high winds can break off limbs. Of course we all know tornadoes can twist or uproot full grown trees or even snap them in half.
This time of year it always makes me think of our own walk through life. We want the blessings God has to give us but we dread the hardships and trials we must sometimes face. We try to prepare for the worst but some things we just cannot prepare ourselves for. We make every effort to do things on our own but sometimes the only thing we can do is pray.
Life has a funny way of offering us blessings like rain and sometimes we even feel overrun by those blessings to the point of a burden similar to a flood. Other times life withholds blessings and we feel as if we are going through a drought.
Sometimes we can see the trouble coming and we can get ourselves ready for it like farmers do to their trees during a light freeze, but sometimes the trouble is just too much for us to withstand like it is for the trees during a hard freeze.
And then life comes at us with things we have no control over...cancer, death, accidents, hate crimes, etc...and like a tree in a storm with hail, high winds or a tornado we must just endure until the storm passes. But unlike the tree, while we endure the storm we can turn to God to find shelter for our spiritual self in the storm.
While a storm may rage all around us, thanks to God, it does not have to rage within us. With God's love, joy, and peace we can find refuge in any storm.
Just as pecan farmers take inventory of the damage and as they do what needs to be done to salvage any kind of crop for the current year or future years, we too must pick up the pieces and move on after a storm in life.