May 9, 2014

The Miracle of the Hail

The Miracle of the Hail: 

Nourished and Strengthened by Hardship

Yesterday it hailed. 

Pellets of ice pummeled the ground. 

Shoots of verdant, newborn grass bent under the burden 
of what looked like heaven’s frozen tears. 

My split-second first impression was of the unfairness of it all. 

To understand the lesson the hail stones had to teach, however,
I needed to consider more than just the passing hardship endured by my lawn.

After a long winter, spring was doing its best to breathe life into my barren backyard.

The little blades of grass sprouted upward with faith and zeal. 

Under the darkening skies, they stood, at first, steadfast;
little green soldiers resolute in maintaining their station, despite the storm. 

But as the frozen water droplets persisted, 
the weight of the hail became too much. 

Through the glass doors of our dining room, 
I watched the sprouts cower in apprehension, 
then bend and flatten. 

The entire lawn appeared defeated, 
as if surrendering to fate. 

Hardened capsules of ice glistened triumphant.

But then the storm, as all storms do, moved on.

The sun broke through the clouds, 

meager rays at best, 

yet sufficient warmth to caress the day with hope and change. 

The hailstones melted.

Right before my eyes, each shoot of grass—relieved of its burden—began to straighten itself and reach once more toward the sky. 

The hail, minutes before a perilous trial, 

lent life-giving water that would nourish and strengthen the grass, 
allowing it to continue to grow. 

Challenging life-storms that bring the weight 
of icy doubt and fear crashing down upon us 
only have the power to smother our convictions and determination . . .

. . . if we allow them to. 

When, like the blades of grass, we are driven to our knees in despair, 
we need but to endure in faith, trusting God and believing in our own 
strengths and capabilities. 

When the storm has passed, 
and once more we are clearly able see 

the light of hope and truth—finding that it was always there—

we will find ourselves growing once again, 

nourished and strengthened by hardship.