The Roof Lesson

April 1, 2011
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A fair bit of snow had fallen during this winter. My husband, who had recently acquired an antique car, had put it in an old shed so that it would have shelter for the winter. Knowing that work on the roof had to wait until spring, he had reinforced the walls and temporarily put a tarp on the roof. We hadn't really thought much about the snow load on the roof of the little shed until the middle of February. When we realized that the car was likely in grave danger from the increasing weight of the snow, my husband was away. Something had to be done quickly. So I armed myself with a metal leaf rake and a long-handled broom, and the project began.

Standing on the ground beside the shed, I thrust the rake up and drew foot-thick clumps of packed snow toward me. As the chunks broke away one at a time, they would swoosh down the tarped incline. It was a tedious task since I couldn't grab too much at a time or the rake would stick in the snow, and I didn't want to damage the tarp with the rake. As the wall of snow built up along the building, I would step up a bit more and reach a bit higher with the rake.

Eventually, the roof was cleared to the ridge — all except a chunk at the highest point of the front peak. But there was no hope that I could clear the other side of the roof, because items had been stored along that side of the building before winter, and next to them, there was a drop-off to the neighbour's property. I knew that the roof wouldn't hold me, nor could I get up there if I wanted to! I pondered how much I had improved the situation by doing only half the job, but I knew I had done my best, except for the peak. Reaching as far as I could, I thrust the rake up and pulled the snow clump at the peak toward me. Suddenly, there was a swoosh, and the snow on the entire far side of the roof slipped off in one piece and landed with a large thump in the drop-off. I had done as much as I could, and the rest had been looked after.

It was then that it occurred to me that this wasn't a lot different than how the Lord has taught me about other things in my life. The lesson I've learned is that it is up to us to do our part, to use the tools that we have at the moment, to reach as far as we can, to endure and to persevere even when the peak looks too high and the job seems impossible, and never to give up. For it is when we do our part that God looks after the rest.

I am thankful that the roof didn't cave in on the old 1946 Pontiac. I am thankful that the Lord has sustained our family through various storms and heavy loads, and I am thankful that the Lord has eased the "snow load" on those next-to-impossible things in my life many times over. What an awesome God we serve!

Psalm 84:5a – Blessed are those whose strength is in you. (NIV)

Psalm 105:4 – Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (NIV)

Romans 5:3-5 – But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, when a task or situation looks next to impossible, help us to remember Your strength, and that our strength is in You. Please remind us that You are teaching us daily through our experiences, that they grow us up in You, and that through Your Holy Spirit, our hope is in You. Amen.

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About the author:

Susan Powley
Hartington, Ontario, Canada

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