On Memorial Day, I was outside cleaning up around my house and made a few observations as I was cleaning up weeds. A few years ago (maybe ten years or so), I removed all the grass and put in mulch on one side of my house. It was a shady area. There were a couple of trees on my side of the property line and two large cedar trees on my neighbor’s side. As the years went along, the trees got really big and became a real problem for me. It kept the siding on the house from getting sunshine which led to mold and mildew being a real nuisance.
I have issues concerning the trees around my house. My house was struck by lightning when I first moved in. It hit one of the trees on that side of the house and ricocheted to my house. I have been wanting all the trees down since then. I finally got the trees down on my side about three years ago. So what do I do about my neighbor’s trees? Well, I prayed for God to remove them. I know, trivial things to pray about, but I prayed anyway. In hindsight, it was a really good thing for me to cut my trees down because God answered my prayer in a very big way.
In April, 2011, a tornado made its way through my city and across my neighborhood. Those two cedar trees were laid down perfectly between my house and my neighbor’s. If the other trees had been there, they might have ended up on top of my house (right where I would have been kneeling in my closet). I believe God prompted me to get those trees taken down. I even had done some major work on my house the year before and trust that too was in preparation for the storm to come. This was not how I expected God to answer my prayer for my tree problem. But He had prepared me in a large way for the storm to come. I had done the work I knew to do in advance of what God was going to do.
I see this too as a metaphor for spiritual storms. There are things I need to be doing in order to be prepared for the storms that will come in my life. I need to be strong in the Word. I need to be on my knees praying diligently for the things I know to be praying for. There are many preparations before the storms arrive, and they will come.
As I was pulling weeds on Memorial Day, I was reminded of my prayer. I prayed for the removal of the trees and now I have weeds. Nothing had grown on that side of the house for years, but now that it’s sunny and weeds flourish. The house is no longer moldy and mildewed, but the paint is fading fast. Whether it is sunny or shady, there are always issues to deal with. Either way, there is work to do. Time spent in preparation is essential to be ready for whatever storm comes my way.
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:31-34