Published August 11, 2009

Shelia Shares....
"Seeing The Positive"

Recently, while I was out of town for a family reunion, we lost a tree in our home's front yard.

That Friday evening there was a terrible thunder-and-lightning storm. (Paul was thankful that I wasn't there, knowing well my great "love" of storms.) There was a loud crack in front of our house and Paul said he thought, "That was way too close."

Saturday, he saw bark from the tree laying near our front stoop which is 15 feet away from the tree. He realized then that the tree had been hit with lightning.

On Monday morning about 7 a.m., he went out to get the newspaper and noticed a crack in the tree. He had not seen that before and isn't sure it was there before that time. About 8 a.m. the neighbor lady across the street called our office to ask if we knew about our tree. At that time, one third of the tree had fallen across the road in front of our house and the township was already there cutting it up to get it off the road.

That same day, Paul called in a "tree guy."

On Tuesday, the tree experts took the remaining tree down ($1600!). When I returned to town, I saw a "beautiful" stump in our yard, where a beautiful big tree had been. (The tree was large and the stump is about three feet in diameter.)

We can look at this in several ways. I can complain. Why did "our" tree have to get hit? Why did we have that expense? With it gone, our bedroom will certainly get much hotter during the summer, lacking the shade it previously had from the tree.

The other way to look at things is to be thankful. The lightning hit no one. It didn't cause a fire. It hit a tree, not our house. Both Paul and I are thankful I wasn't home to "enjoy" the storm. Although the tree had three main branches, only the one that did fall could have fallen without causing damage. It fell into the empty street and not into our house (causing more problems and cost) nor into a passing or parked car or even the mailbox. The stump that is left is flat and may be used to hold several large flower containers.

Seeing the positive is an encouragement both to yourself and to others. The Bible encourages us to see the good in circumstances knowing that God is in control of everything that happens. With the heavenly father watching over us, this is another example of how truly blessed we are.

- Shelia

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