Some people fear storms – others worry about tornados and severe wind. Still others are concerned with thunder and lightning. As for me, I hate hail! The last several weeks here in central Indiana have been full of unpredictable weather.
First it was dry, then it was windy and wet, but after that we had two incidents of hail in the same week. The first time was the beginning of Father’s Day weekend. That Friday evening, the family had an early celebration at our daughter, Kristin’s, house. We enjoy getting together as a family and while we were having dinner, a strange noise started. None of us could figure it out.
That is, until we saw chunks of hail falling in the front yard. I was surprised how big the hailstones were – at least as big as the first joint of my thumb. Andrew had his car, and we had Janet’s car, in the driveway and I was very concerned about damage to several rather expensive vehicles. It must have come down for five minutes or so before the sun came out and thirty minutes later we would never have known that the hailstorm had ever happened.
Believe me, I was grateful when we left and there wasn’t any damage to the family cars. Let’s face it – I silently gave thanks that we got through the storm without any damage to the house, either. I thought that we were done with hail for a while – but I was wrong.
Two nights later, on Father’s Day, Janet and I started volunteering at Vacation Bible School. We help out each summer and it is one of the highlights of the season as we, along with other members of our family, help Kristin. She is responsible for the program at Zionsville Presbyterian Church where she has been on staff for about fifteen years now.
Sure enough, part way through the evening, alerts came through on our phones letting us know that severe weather was in the area. It was supposed to be a clear evening. The kids were outside playing games in their groups and suddenly, the rain started. Within a minute or two the sky opened up and guess what… the hail started. Once again, I was praying for the storm to pass over without damage to the building or the cars. The kids had already been safely moved indoors at the first warning so we knew that they were safe.
And, once again, we were spared any damage when we returned to our vehicle later in the evening at the completion of the first night of VBS. What a blessing…
Several times during our 39 years here in Indiana, we have experienced severe damage to cars. The first time that I was ever caught in a hailstorm, I was watching the rain from inside our office. The car was in the middle of the parking lot and there was no way to protect the it. No trees, no cover… Frankly, I didn’t know that there was a serious issue till I went to turn in the car and was notified that the value had dropped considerably because of the dents and pings that were visible under a certain light.
The second time, I was caught in a storm and the hail was so severe that the windshield was cracked during the fiercest part of the storm. The car had to go in for dent repairs and a new windshield. Then, the new windshield broke within several weeks and I had to go through the process again. It was terrible. Suffice it to say that I can’t stand hail.
But that’s not the end of it. Twice since we have lived here we have suffered damage to our home as a result of hailstorms. The first time, a little more than a decade ago, we needed a new roof, gutters and downspouts. It was the first time that we ever had to file an insurance claim for a storm. Even then, the claim wasn’t huge, but the second time we had a storm, a little more than a year ago, we had a massive loss.
We needed a new roof, gutters, downspouts, gutter guards, two new garage doors, three windows, a service door to the garage and various other things such as repairs to our handrails, a new chimney cap and tree damage. It was a massive claim – about four times the claim we filed the first time we had damage from hail. Thankfully, all the cars were protected in our garage both times we sustained damage to our home.
I admit that I have a real problem when it comes to worrying about hailstorms. Thankfully, I have never been caught outside and injured by hailstones during a storm. But I have developed a real fear about potential damage and during the Father’s Day week-end incident, some local areas had hail the size of baseballs. It was incredible…
The Bible has quite a bit to say about hail. One of my favorite verses has to do with the story of Job and his interactions with God in the later chapters of the book. God is holding Job accountable and it isn’t a real pleasant exchange. Tonight’s verse is from Job’s exchange with God. We are told that God is addressing Job and says, in Job 38:22, “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail…”
The magnitude and grandeur of God is on display in these verses. My encouragement is that we should never underestimate the power of God. God is more omnipotent than we can ever possibly imagine. My prayer is that we will realize that this same God who holds the storehouses of the snow and the hail is the same God who desires to have a personal relationship with each of us. And that is to be protected at all costs. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…