I was on my way home but still several miles away when I heard Jean’s voicemail. She said, “Call me, right now, please, now! I need you home!”
I could hear a serious problem in her voice, but I didn’t know what. Several horrible thoughts raced through my mind but none were correct, and honestly, for that I give thanks.
That was last Monday afternoon. Jean and all the rest of Lee County, as well as most of Alabama, had been given the day off from school due to an unwelcome intruder named Irma. Jean was home by herself, in our second floor den, grading school papers. Rain was already falling and the wind was blowing from Tropical Storm Irma but nothing like I expected would come later.
Jean heard a loud boom and felt our entire house shake. There were no windows on the back side of the upstairs room, but when she came downstairs, she saw tree limbs and leaves against the windows there.
When I called her back, she said, “We have a tree on the house.” I imagined one of the little evergreen trees that line our driveway. No, the giant poplar tree across on the other side of our driveway had slammed down on top of our house.
Actually, through our house, better describes what happened. Its one-hundred five feet stretched across our driveway and from one end of our house to the other. I have always thought sky-lights in a ceiling were nice, but I have to confess that I don’t especially care for the two I now have in the roof of our garage. The monster sliced through the roof and through the fireplace chimney like a giant chainsaw.
That big-boy perfectly centered our chimney, ripping a gash about six feet down. Yes, that is the same chimney we rebuilt the bottom portion of back in the spring, but good news, he didn’t reach as far down as the new part. I guess we’ll rebuild the top now and have an entire new chimney, from the ground up! We also got a new satellite dish in the deal, and we will get a new roof, new ceilings and a fresh coat of paint in a couple of rooms.
All of that is nothing more than stuff. It can all be replaced. Most important of all, I give thanks to God that Jean walked out of that house without a scratch on her. Another six feet to the left, might have brought a different outcome. Even in the bad, God is good.
Later that day, I sat down at the kitchen counter and noticed a new book that a dear friend of ours had mailed me a couple of days earlier. I’m sure she sent this particular book because of the health issues I’m dealing with right now, and not because she knew a tree was about to blow over on my house.
I had seen the title of the book and even read a few pages in it, but I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read this title again - “Goliath Must Fall.” I said, “Well, I guess so. He has.” The subtitle of the book is, “Winning the Battles Against Your Giants.” David’s Goliath fell. Although Goliath was a seasoned warrior as well as a giant, young David, took him down with nothing more than a sling and a stone – and of course, God. Our house will be rebuilt, my cancer will be removed, and we will win the battle against these giants. Whatever giants you may be facing, with God’s help, may they fall too.