All for good....really ?

We were just cruising along with our Sunday.  Had a great church service in the morning.
Spent time making plans for a Women’s event on Friday night.  Enjoyed lunch at Panera with my girls.
Then…wind/rain/gail force winds as Tropical Storm Debby blew into town. 
“We’re ok”, I told my nervous kids.  “We are safe in our cozy house. Everything is fine.”  
The television screen flashed images of damage and danger throughout the area.  Tornadoes were spotted.  Trees blew over.   Roads were flooded.
Still we were safe.  Cozy in our house.  Then we heard it.  Drip. Drip. Drip. 
Safe and cozy had become leaking and vulnerable.    The living room ceiling swelled with the burden of water which had entered through tiny cracks in our stucco walls. 
Drip. Drip.  Splash.    The bucket began to fill as we grabbed beach towels and mopped puddles and scooted furniture out of the way.  Wood floors squished with water. 
We no longer felt safe and cozy. 
Water seeped under the baseboards.  More beach towels.   Grabbed the shop-vac from the garage and began the impossible task of sucking water from our hardwood floors and new area rug.
The 10 yr old sat on the shop vac to keep it from tipping.  The 17 yr old anchored the rug to keep it from moving.  And I used all my strength to pull the vac along the rug, sucking up storm water.   Family bonding at its best!  
O my!   Sigh….  Why?   Cry.
Sound familiar?  Isn’t that the rollercoaster we ride during any sort of crisis?
We worked and mopped and when the stress got too much, made brownies and watched Cupcake wars on TV!  Snuggled together in my room all night, we hoped and prayed for the storm to pass and the towels to absorb and the ceiling to not come caving in.  I literally felt His peace envelop me as I drifted off to sleep.
and kids to feed and wet towels to change. For now, the storm had passed.   But the damage, and the questions remained.  Just like life.
Why?  WHY?? Why did my house flood of all the houses on my street?     The only single mama house.   The only house without a dad in residence.   Don’t know, friends.  I just don’t know.   I know you are anxiously waiting for a tidy answer but I’ve got nothing.   And as you well know, every ‘why?’ unleashes more ‘why’s’ until we are sucked down into a pit of self-pity and despair.  And that’s not someplace I want to stay.
I simply have to cling to what I do know. 
He, the creator of the universe, has promised to work it all together for good.  (Romans 8:28)
All.  For.  Good. 
Here’s is my ’for good’  so far: 
1.       Squabbling sisters working in tandem. (Can’t you just hear the angels sing alleluia?)
2.       Awesome insurance policy in effect – a legacy from my husband’s time in the military.
3.       Energy to move furniture and shop vac rugs.
4.       Neighbors to call for help who appeared on our doorstep.  
5.       Friends to laugh @ our Facebook pictures and offer whatever we needed.
6.       Peace in the middle of the storm- literally!
7.       The realization that is truly all just ‘stuff’. 
And in the ‘working all things together for good’ I have a feeling that sometimes we go through stuff in order to give God a chance to shine a little brighter.  To our neighbors.  To our kids.  To the insurance adjuster who spent 5 hours at my house today, seeing verses posted on my mirrors and hearing our simple story.        
There’s a song by Casting Crowns that I sung myself to sleep with last night:  

I was sure by now 
That You would have reached down 
And wiped our tears away 
Stepped in and saved the day 
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining 

As the thunder rolls 
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain 
“I’m with you” 
And as You mercy falls 
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives 
And takes away 

I’ll praise You in this storm 
And I will life my hands 
For You are who You are 
No matter where I am 

Whatever your storm today, be it crippling grief or lonely, health  concerns , finances or lots of swirling questions..I pray you can find some teeny tiny pocket of good to praise Him for.