This I Believe

Beth - Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Entered on July 9, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I Believe Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

In September 2003, one night while we slept, a hurricane named Isabel raged through our dairy farm and effortlessly removed half of a four year old barn roof . A fallen tree put a hole in another barn roof. As if property damage wasn’t enough, the same hurricane flattened our first promising crop of corn after a successive three year drought. A few days after the hurricane, while harvesting the downed corn, two wheels broke off the forage wagon creating many frustrating hours of repair work for my husband. That same day our seven year old daughter was admitted to the hospital for three long days with a serious respiratory illness. The next day our dairy herdsman informed us he was resigning. Two weeks later a strong wind storm rudely destroyed the remaining half of the barn roof.

The blessings my family and I experienced immediately following this series of unfortunate events has given me a greater appreciation for the ‘silver lining’ that, I believe, can be found in every cloud. I witnessed the spirit of servanthood in the neighboring farmers who gave up their own time to help with our repairs. I saw Providence in the direction the corn crop laid down making it easier for the harvester to pick up, thus salvaging what could have been a much greater loss. A generous gift was in my father-in-law’s many hours of work clearing fallen trees and repairing a damaged roof. I witnessed protection in the form of doctors and nurses who cared for my sick daughter in the hospital. I could feel the love in the handmade get well cards her classmates created for her. I experienced provision in my mother-in-law’s willingness to keep my three year old daughter for three days so I could be at the hospital with my other sick daughter. The spirit of mercy was in our herdsman’s willingness to work for four more weeks, easing our acute despair. We experienced sustenance in an unexpected meal made by an attentive friend. Comfort was delivered in various expressions of care from supportive friends and family. Because of my observations and perceptions during and immediately following this brief but difficult time, I believe with absolute certainty that I will see and experience that ‘silver lining’ in many more ways to come. My certainty is based on my belief that the ‘silver lining’ is more than just an empty idiom based on luck or good fortune. I believe that it is a gift from my Creator who actively participates in every aspect of my life. This belief fosters my hope that I will not be alone in future times of struggle and hardship.