"And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." —Ether 12:6
Sometimes, our faith is tried in very different ways. Last night, for example, we had a snow storm. It was one of the few blizzards that we have had up here and it was a very interesting night! We had a storm of "Book of Mormon" proportions! It was very similar to one of the hurricanes that I was in many years ago, back in North Carolina. The difference was, last night, we did not know it was coming and we had not taken any hurricane (high wind) precautions. The winds were whipping through the trees at, literally, hurricane strength. I am talking 90 to 100 miles per hour winds. We even made the national news with the weather.
The girls came and crawled in bed with us because they were so afraid that the trees were going to fall through the roof. Seriously, over one foot of snow, than came the wind, and it was not a quiet night until the sun started to come through the clouds in the morning. There was no power in our house for about twelve hours. There are people in town who still have no power.
There are trees down all over the place, including in the roads and a couple that did manage to hit homes and cars. It was quite the storm. We got up this morning and put a good fire in the fireplace. John used his outside grill to heat water for hot chocolate and we at cold cereal for the first time in a very long time. The girls were able to be warm thanks to the woodstove in the living room. They pulled out the board games until it got light enough to read. It was a good morning.
We are all so grateful that we did not have any damage at our house that can't be fixed with a little extra work. The power was finally restored around noon and now John is working on fixing the Chicken coop. The net over the coop to keep the chickens from flying out was blown and ripped in the storm. He is putting up chicken wire instead of the netting so that he can let the chickens out of the coop again.
This has been a trial of our faith and the faith of our small community. It is hard to see others without power, without transportation, and without a roof over their heads. The first thing we did this morning was call on our home and visiting teaching families and make sure that their needs were met. We tried to make sure that those we personnally knew were safe.
And what are the blessings that have come after the trial of our faith?
We have come to know the tender mercies of the the Lord, how His blessings appear at the right moment, in a miraculous way, in spite of how scary things look on the outside. The girls were safe and finally able to go to sleep. Every member of our family is safe, and our home is intact. All of the families that we have responsibility for are safe. We may have to chop some extra wood to get it out of the road or out of the yard, but we are all safe and that is amazing! Heavenly Father hears our prayers even in the roaring of the wind. What makes trials worthwhile—and necessary—is what we learn by going through them, the most important things being real gratitude and sincere appreciation for how good we have it, both during the trial and after. I am so grateful that we did not have a tree come through our roof and that Heavenly Father hears and answers the prayers of His children. So, what have the winter's of your life taught you? What can you learn from the wind and storms of life?