My wife and I have been struggling with something for a while. Our roof is leaking and we don’t have $8000 for a new roof. We have been praying and praying that Heavenly Father would help us.
Last Winter the water was beginning to damage our ceilings and sheet rock. So why didn’t I just get up there and patch it? Well, I had never been up on a roof in my entire life. Fat kids don’t get on roofs. Fat teenagers don’t get on roofs. And Fat old men definitely don’t get on roofs. The thought of getting up there terrified me. I just knew the roof would cave in, or I could take a bad step, resulting in death or a long and painful injury.
I had talked to several people at church about our problem, hoping that someone would offer some advice, or even offer to help me patch the roof, but no one did. I felt utterly helpless. I couldn’t understand why my prayers weren’t being answered.
Finally, it got to the point where something had to be done. Inching my way up the ladder took everything I had, but I finally made it onto the roof and put a tarp over the area that was leaking. I secured it with boards. I was shaking with fear as I came down the ladder, but I was so glad that I had done it. That night, a big windstorm came up and ripped down the tarp. I went off by myself and cried.
Then I had an impression. I needed to go to Home Depot and figure out what I needed to patch the roof myself. I’d never done roofing before, so I was clueless. I remember my wife praying that night in our family prayer that I would be guided in figuring out how to repair the roof and that my hand would be guided as I worked.
I took 3 gallons of roof tar and headed up on the roof. I was worried that if I fell, there would be no one to call 911 because my wife was at work. I tried to get someone to come over, just to be here in case something happened, but everyone was busy. So I was on my own.
I told my wife to call me every hour on my cell phone, just to make sure I was still alive.
While I was up there, I could feel my mind being enlightened as to how to fix the problems. I could suddenly see areas that needed fixing that I hadn’t seen before. In fact, I hadn’t even known what to look for until I was up there.
When I was done, standing up there on my roof looking around at what I had accomplished, I suddenly knew why I had to do this alone. The Lord had to show me what I can do. I needed to learn that I could reach beyond what I thought were my limitations. I needed to learn that I can do hard things. I CAN DO HARD THINGS.
Some folks may think this is silly, but I’d never felt more like a man than I did at that moment. I felt so alive.
Our roof had no more leaks that year. I thanked God for giving me the precise experiences and trials that I needed to learn and grow in faith.
But apparently, I still had lessons to learn. And since the leaky roof proved to be a good teaching vehicle in the past, Heavenly Father decided to use it again.
Yesterday, I noticed a brown spot on our ceiling. We had another leak. But I knew from past experience that I can do hard things. Heavenly Father taught me I can patch the roof. I checked the weather report and saw that a storm was coming in today.
So I went back to Home Depot and got another 3-gallon bucket of patching tar. I came home and said a prayer asking for help, similar to the prayer my wife had offered last year.
As I made my way up the latter, it began to rain. Hard.
Why wasn’t God helping me? Why didn’t he answer my prayer? I was feeling abandoned and alone as thunder cracked in the sky.
And then I realized something. As the rain steamed down the roof, I could see the areas that needed to be patched. I followed the water paths and discovered the places that puddled. Had it not been raining, I never would have been able to find the problems.
I sat there on the roof, cold and soaking wet, and thanked my Father in Heaven for making it rain. I asked His forgiveness for doubting Him.
I know that to find happiness I must turn my entire life over to God. As I do so, I am amazed to find Him patient and accepting of my faltering efforts.