Sunday, February 8, 2009

His Protection Exemplified!

As many of you are aware, Portantorchas is on a beautiful campus filled by the grandeur of God's creation. On a very small campus, we have beautiful fields, beautiful trees, beautiful plants, flowers, and even fish. On Thursday, I was commenting to our students how much I love admiring God's creation, as a way of seeing God's glory.

That same Thursday, I both got to see the truth of God's fallen creation, as well as another reminder of his constant and continuous protection. For some reason, that I will never understand, God has used the trees at Portantorchas as a sign of His protection. We have had too many close events with trees, that have never amounted to more than that... close events.

Years back, while sitting in the office, I heard an incredibly loud crash. Running to the back, from where the noise originated, I saw Morris, one of our former staff members standing next to the lawn tractor, and right behind a branch the size of a tree. His story is fascinating. Seconds before the crash, as he was mowing the lawn right under the tree, the tractor just stopped for no reason. When he got down to check it, this huge branch, fell less than a couple of feet in front of him. Clearly, the Lord's hand was over him.

We have been cutting many trees, for safety reasons in the last week. Some of our huge pines (over 100 feet high) are being cut. On Wednesday a cold front entered Costa Rica which forced us to stop cutting trees, although there was only one more tree left in that area to cut. Thursday the wind picked up to speeds of about 85km per hour reeking havoc all over the country but pounding on that one tree. The tree did not hold against the wind and literally snapped in half, something that I didn't know was possible, and that is really amazing to see, were it not so dangerous. Most of the tree landed in empty space, but the end of the branches reached out to our neighbors' home, and did about $600 worth of damage to their roof. Had the tree snapped one or two feet lower, we would be telling a different story as it would have done significant damage.

I often wonder why $600 worth of damage, and not simply no damage at all. One more day, and the tree guys would have eliminated that danger altogether. Perhaps the neighbors got to see our responsibility in covering the damage immediately (we got to work on it right away, and were done by Saturday morning, even making improvements on their roof), which I believe is part of our Christian testimony. But, why did Morris have to be right next to the branch, and not watch it fall from a distance? I don't know. Some people don't even get the privilege of close calls. But I can say that when I walked over there, it was very clear, as it has been in my many years of working here, that God's hand is on this place. Sure... I'll keep cutting down old and dangerous trees, and replanting new and healthy ones... but that only means that as we continue to try to make this place safer, He will show us through other ways that He is still protecting us.

(the picture is not the actual tree. I'll post a picture of the actual one, when I get one.)