“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov. 17:22)
When we got back to the little gray house, Dad had already gotten the tractor out and they had moved the limbs away from the gate.
Marvin scurried to the trees before anyone could see him. He was still shy when it came to humans.
“Look Mom! There’s Jake and Jasmine and they found Chester,” Brother shouted over the noise of the tractor.
Mom opened the gate and we all walked into the safety of our back yard. It sure felt good to be back home.
Other than a few bumps, bruises, and scratches, Chester was alright.
Mom hugged his neck and said how worried she was that something might have happened to him. She would never know just how great a danger Chester had been in.
Dad, Mom, and Brother worked all day moving limbs, picking up branches, and repairing the fence that had been broken.
It wasn’t long before Marvin had a bigger and better branch pile than ever before that he could call home.
Mom gave Chester a bath and fixed him a place in the yard where he could stay until his barn could be rebuilt.
The men came down the street to repair the power lines and by the evening our power was back on.
Mom said she was thankful to have a cool house to work in so that she could get started cleaning inside. It seemed like she cleaned, dusted, and vacuumed most of the night.
Everything was beginning to get back to normal.
Over the next few days, it was very hectic around our house. Jasmine and I had to stay inside as strange men were coming and going; fixing all of the things that the howling wind had broken.
Dad said he wanted a bigger and better barn for Chester. He wanted one that would not blow away again.
Instead of a chicken coop, they built a nice storage shed for Mom to keep all of her gardening and yard tools in. They made it big enough for Dad to park his lawn tractor in it too.
They put a new fence all around the field. It seemed that Chester would never have to worry about strange dogs again.
Everything the storm destroyed was now going to be bigger, better, and stronger.
As Jasmine and I were lying next to Dad and Mom one night while they were reading, they began talking about a story in the Bible.
It seems there was a man named Job who loved God with all of his heart. One day a terrible disaster happened to Job and his family, and he couldn’t understand why it happened.
Some people told Job that he should blame God for all of his troubles, but Job said that no matter what happened to him, he would always believe in God’s love.
Because Job never quit believing in God’s love for him, God gave back to Job twice as much as he had lost.
It made me think of the night of the howling wind.
When the dust storm came and we were under the covers in the dark, we asked the Creator to watch over us and keep us safe.
When we looked outside the next morning and saw all of the things that were blown away and our friends missing, it might have seemed that God didn’t hear and answer our prayer.
But God was watching over us all along.
Chester had told us that when the wind had blown his barn down, he wandered in the dark and dust until his leg got caught in the fence wire.
Marvin had said that when the big gust of wind came it blew him out of his tree and he fell in some soft bushes.
He tried to see the lights of our house through the blowing dust, but with the power out he couldn’t see anything to show him the way home.
That’s when he heard Chester crying. He followed the sound in the dark, and he and Chester huddled together against the wind.
After the wind stopped, Marvin decided to stay with Chester until he could go get help in the morning.
But when the morning came, the strange dogs showed up to threaten them. That’s when Jasmine and I arrived just in time.
Although the storm came, the Creator heard our prayer, watched over us through it, and caused everything to happen to keep us safe. In the end, just like Job, everything was bigger and better.
Sometimes bad things happen. But one thing we can know for sure. No matter what happens, the Bible says that nothing will ever get between us and God’s love.
God’s love never fails.