On Friday night we expected a thunderstorm, what we got was a hail storm. When I think about the summer in Oklahoma, the word coming to mind is hot, not hail. With the fairly constant heat we get, ice falling from the sky lands in the “unexpected” category for me.
Hail is destructive. The hail from that night damaged everything from cars to plants around us, and when I went outside in the morning our garden at home looked more like a war zone then a vegetable stand (well, maybe if someone had knocked a vegetable stand over it would bear some likeness). When I went to the church that morning I saw that the May Night Salvias at church also hadn’t escaped the icy bullets.
I remember talking with the lady at Ace about those Salvias before I’d purchased them. I told her we needed something that was pretty, but extremely low maintenance. I still can hear her saying “These Salvias are drought proof, wind proof, can take full sun, etc” (she had me at drought proof). Since then her advice has proved gilded. Those plants have begun to spread out and grow up, and the lovely dark purple flowers add beauty to our front yard at church. The only watering they receive is from the sprinklers three times a week. They seemed bullet proof. Apparently they were, just not when the bullets have been turned to ice. Come to think of it, the lady at Ace never did mention “hail proof”. Our lovely Salvias now look quite sad. About all the leaves got stripped off and no flowers remain.
When I looked closer I did find some good news. While the plant took quite a beating, the roots were still strong. After some reading I found that when plants suffer hail damage they usually come back, but something interesting happens. With those broken stems and stripped flowers, the plant focuses its energy on root development. In fact, quite often the plant is able to come back stronger next season because its roots are stronger then ever before!
Colossians 2:7 tells us that we are to be “Rooted and built up in him…” As a Christian sometimes we face things we couldn’t have seen coming. Sometimes circumstances cause scars and damage that we have to live with daily. During those summertime hail storms we must resist the tendency to look at the affects on our stems or leaves, and rather choose to focus on our “root development“. Focus on a greater dependency upon Christ. Focus on daily devotion and prayer time. Focus on the things that the storms cannot touch, our faith. Through time and God’s grace, we can be a testament that even a summertime hailstorm can make us stronger.