I want to share something I learned this past weekend – after the big wind storms we had on Sunday.
I got home from church, Sunday, to find a large tree (about 40′ tall) laying on the power service line that runs from the street to my house. As I was verifying my my house was without power, I learned the entire street was without power.
My neighbor, Bob, explained that all of Boston Rd (Strongsville) was without power, from Substation Rd to Pearl. Something had happened on Substation, in Brunswick Hills and knocked us all out.
I had a bigger problem, though. That tree laying on my service line, was so heavy, it had pulled the electric meter’s stack (pipe that runs from the meter, through the roof) about six inches horizontally THROUGH the roof, ripping up shingles and creating a huge hole.
What would happen if power was restored? Was there damage in the meter? Would it start a fire? Would it even come back on?
I have generator, but I couldn’t get it to run!
I have three busy women in my family – wife and two teenaged daughters. I can last a few months without electricity (I’ve done it), but I am sure my girls wouldn’t last a day.
So, what did I do? I prayed. I’ve never dealt with this kind of damage on my house before, and I couldn’t really forecast how things would work out – particularly in a quick and efficient manner. I prayed for Peace and Wisdom, as I thanked our Lord for His Sovereignty. Then I asked many of you to pray for me and my family.
Many of you made offers of help and assistance. Many of you even offered to let my family spend the night in your homes. I am so grateful for you, and your offers. But I couldn’t imagine imposing on you or your families like that. (Might be a problem of mine that I need to work on.)
That night we spent a horrible night in a hotel. It was so noisy and uncomfortable that my oldest daughter ended up trying to sleep in the bath tub (because it was more quiet)!
The next day, a couple fellas temporarily patched the hole in my roof, as we waited for electrical repairs to the meter and stack, and for the electric company to remove the tree from my service line.
The rest of the street had their power restored, but they disconnected my house because of that dumb tree. They wanted the tree removed before they would turn my power back on.
At noon, a buddy of mine from work showed up with his generator. We powered up the refrigerators, freezers, sump pump, and a couple outlets in the house.
He then asked me to get a ladder and my chainsaw. He was going to cut down the tree! And my neighbor wanted to help also!
For two hours, these two men worked very hard in my yard to help me out. We cut down and moved all of that tree and freed up that service line. The Electric Company finally turned my power back on at about 5:00PM.
Here are two things God reinforced in me:
God works everything together for good, for those who love Him.
We all need to be in community with others.
If you have heard me speak, you likely know that I am an Isolationist. I am an introvert, and have only just recently begun trying to be in community. I am very comfortable being alone, and prefer it usually, to everything else.
About five years ago, I began to be convicted by the Spirit about my community. I didn’t have one. Since then, I have really engaged the Men’s Ministry at Grace and have tried to join in community and relationships there.
If this event had happened five years ago, I would still be without power today – with a tree still on my service line. I would be out of my mind with anxiety and frustration. I would be in a terrible place.
Here is my point:
What kind of community are you in? Are you in any relationships that allow to call on others for help? Christ surrounded himself with people that supported Him, and we need to do the same.
I challenge each of you to be a in a herd. Be in a group of men that you can call on, when needed. Not everyone can help every time, but someone can help one time.
In the strongest words I could possibly use, I exhort you to be in relationship with other Godly men – for your emotional, physical, and Spiritual health.
– Chris Wokal