Friday I went to the grocery store. There was a points promotion. I spent close to an hour toting my two little girls, collecting everything on my list. I got to the checkout and had no money!
Monday I went back to the grocery store. Re-collected everything on my list, double checked that I had money, got to the register and discovered I had left the coupon at home.
I went back home, picked up my coupon, headed back to the grocery store, paid for my items, took them to the van and realized that my giant empty water jugs were still in the trunk. I went back to the grocery store. The clerk told me that had I done this shopping on Saturday, I would have received double the points!
I got home and there was a peculiar odor emanating from my laundry room. The septic had backed up – all over the floor. I called my husband and he came home from work to help fix the problem. He called a plumber. The plumber said he would come that evening. That evening came but the plumber didn’t. He had forgotten a previous commitment. Meanwhile, my family (six of us still at home) could not flush or run water…ewww, the smell!
The latch on the sliding door of the van broke so the door would not shut. My teenager had absolutely no interest in doing school this day. One of the little girls was sick. I couldn’t wash the dishes from the weekend, we had company coming for supper and my clothes dryer was sitting on the lawn in the back yard!
The phone rings. “Hey, what’s up?”
“uuuhhhh….” I began to describe my litany of woes.
What happened? My friend came over. After my wonderful husband cleaned up the mess and tore up the floor, my friend and my children all helped lay a new floor, paint the walls and redecorated the laundry room. We still couldn’t flush but at least that job was done. The funny thing was, I had been asking my husband to help me redo that room for a few weeks. Now it was done (just a few paint touch ups left).
I posted my septic stress on Facebook. A friend quickly responded that it had happened to her too. She explained what the problem turned out to be. My son dug up the septic tank. Another friend came over and helped him and my husband to unstick the clog. It turned out that when we had the well re drilled the sediment settled in the septic tank. Some strong swishing with a shovel and a couple of clothespins for the noses and all was well again. When my father’s sewer backed up, the damages ran to $10 000! All it cost us was some clothespins and a mop.
Another friend took in my laundry. She washed, dried, folded and brought it back to me.
The junk yard happened to have the parts necessary to fix the door of the van and we happened to have a friend who knew how to help get it done.
School turned into ‘life-experience’.
We have plenty of groceries.
Someone commented to me about the fact that I was still smiling and able to laugh at the disasters in front of me. My response, “What else could I do?”
Although we were being bombarded with these situations, God surrounded us with solutions, friendships and faith that He was still in control.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I really had no control over what was going on around me. The only thing that I could be responsible for was how I reacted. Was I frustrated? Yes. Was I feeling discouraged? Yes. Was I wondering why it was all happening to me – and on the same day? Absolutely. Did I still believe that God holds me in the palm of His hand? Without a doubt.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I have another friend who, for many years, taught our children piano lessons. We took a year off and some of the children have now asked for her to come back. When I approached her, her response was that she needed to pray. Although she had plenty on her plate, she felt the Lord may have something to teach her: either in the commitment or the decision process.
Sometimes circumstances seem totally overwhelming. That is a consequence of sin…yours, mine, every man, woman and child’s all the way back to Adam and Eve. Trial is a guarantee in life. But, if you believe that God is almighty then you can believe that He knows your needs and is waiting to take care of you.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
There is a children’s song that our family learned one summer at Daily Vacation Bible School:
He’s my Rock, my Sword, my Shield,
He’s the hub in the middle of my wheel.
He’s the Lily of the Valley, the bright and morning star.
Makes no difference what you say,
I’ll get on my knees and pray,
I’ll get down until the day that Jesus comes!
If you are feeling persecuted like Job today, are you trusting as Job did also?