879. Blessed Beyond Measure

God blessed my wife and me so much during the cleanup after Hurricane Matthew that I had to share it with my readers.

IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING

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Since Hurricane Matthew blew through, I have been writing about what God has been doing as people in my vicinity have been trying to put their lives back together. I wrote about how God had directed group after group our way to the point where our only remaining project was dealing with one leaning pine tree. Today I would like to tell the story of how God used volunteers from¬†Samaritan’s Purse¬†to take care of the leaner.

Volunteer Crew from Samaritan's Purse

Volunteer Crew from Samaritan’s Purse

After I placed a call to the local disaster relief headquarters of Samaritan’s Purse, a volunteer crew of about ten people showed up. The team was led by an arborist from Memphis, Tennessee named Shannon.

Shannon

Shannon

The other team members were from various places including North Carolina and California. After assessing the situation, Shannon tried to set some ropes and considered his climbing options. It soon became apparent that the tree was hung up so precariously that a climb was too risky. That’s when Shannon called a friend who was part of a Christian-based tree company (from Atlanta) that had a crane not far from my home.

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On the morning of the 21st Shannon gave me a call informing me that a crane was on its way to my house. When it arrived with one supervisor and one operator I was an awe, both of this amazing piece of equipment and the goodness of my God. The use of this very expensive piece of equipment and its crew were yet another gift. The last tree was about to be removed and the entire tree removal saga since we returned home was going to cost us absolutely nothing.

Here’s a brief account of how the crane removed the leaner. A special piece of equipment was attached to the end of the hydraulic crane. It was capable of grasping the tree, cutting it with its built-in chain saw, and piling the various cut parts of the tree on the ground.

Grasping/Cutting Unit

Grasping/Cutting Unit

It started at the top and worked its way down the tree, removing piece by piece.

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It was controlled remotely by an operator on the ground.

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The whole process took about two hours. The operator was from Premium Tree Solutions from Atlanta (chopmytree.com).

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I’m not sure whether the supervisor was from Premier Tree or the Truck company.

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As the last piece was being laid on the ground, the team from Samaritan’s Purse arrived to make sure everything had been taken care of. They and I were sorry that they missed all the fun, but we had a great reunion. I thanked them again for all their help, thinking that the story was over, but it wasn’t. They presented me with a Bible containing heart-felt messages from all the team members.

Surely, I thought, this was the end. How could there possibly be more? That’s when the Pastor of¬†Point of Grace Church¬†in Cornelius, NC presented me with a quilt made by women from his church.

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We prayed together and finally said our good-byes.

AS I SEE IT

I’m still in a state of spiritual shock from all this, especially since the past few months leading up to Hurricane Matthew have been among the most difficult in my life. I have been crying out to God, seeking Him as I never had before. The silence of His response has been equally difficult. However, everything I read and studied reaffirmed that God would reveal Himself to me at the perfect time and in the perfect way…and indeed He did.

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The outpouring of His love through His children after the storm has been overwhelming. The connection I have felt with the folks from all the ministries that have been working tirelessly to help has been wonderful. I have many new friends and a new outlook on a lot of things. It has been great to be able to help the neighbors down the street whose homes took on a lot of water. New relationships have been formed and there is a new sense of community in our neighborhood.

None of this would have happened without the hurricane. God is using it like nothing I have ever seen before to reveal Himself and to refocus His followers on what is most important to Him. Let this be a reminder to all of us to see how God is working in the storms of life to reveal Himself, His purposes and His ways.

I have indeed been blessed beyond measure by all those who have come to help us rebuild. If you are one of them, “Thank you.”¬†Click here¬†to read my previous articles which contain other lessons God has taught me through the storm.

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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

A woman has identical twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in¬†Egypt, and is named ‘Ahmal.’ The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him ‘Juan.’ Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, “They’re identical twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Ahmal.”


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