“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2
It started before dawn one day last week. Three of us were already up and having breakfast when a low rumble began in the backyard and morphed into a trembling that could be felt through the house. Our water main, our home’s sole connection to city water, failed.
And, so began a week without running water.
It has been an experience. But, I will confine this post to a handful of things I’ve learned about coping, my own limitations and God’s lack of limitations. Here they are:
- Jesus wasn’t kidding when He spoke at length about “neighbors,” and that loving them is pretty good evidence of one’s relationship with God. Our literal neighbors have opened their garden spigots, showers, kitchens and so on. Without them, we would be huddled in a hotel room instead of glamping in our own home.
- The Boy Scouts aren’t kidding, either. Be prepared. As soon as we figured out what was going on, my husband instantly produced an array of buckets and many gallon jugs of water. They would prove to be absolutely necessary in a matter of hours. He also had rolls of quarters to do laundry and knew a weird technique to force toilets to flush with only two gallons of water. Who knew?
- Humans have basic needs that cannot be ignored. Food, water, clothing, shelter, compassion, dignity, safety. How we interact with refugees — the world’s most vulnerable people — is not a partisan issue. It’s a human issue. It’s a spiritual issue, too. God is watching.
- You know more than you think you know. When I was in my 20s, I had a job in which I worked a lot of group tent-camping events. I learned odd skills such as how to brush my teeth with less than a Dixie cup full of water and wipe dishes clean without any water. It all came back to me.
- There’s a reason earlier generations were slimmer, stronger and slept better. Hauling water in and laundry out for a large family everyday is no joke. (Looking for a great Christmas gift? Check out an agency like Heifer International or World Vision, through which you can help sponsor well drilling and provide clean, safe water to an entire village.)
- Baby wipes are duct tape for girls. There is virtually nothing a motivated woman cannot do given a sufficient supply.
- God is a good, good Father — even when His children succumb to lunacy. At one early point in this comparatively small crisis, I was so overwhelmed I threw a hissy fit and then went to bed for three hours in the middle of the afternoon. The words at the top of this post came to mind — a bit of scripture I had somehow memorized without knowing it. He let me rest, then He gave me fresh hope and the zip to do what needed to be done.
How about you, blog friends? What has God taught you during life’s tougher circumstances? How has He taught you to hope?
P.S. An eighth lesson: Contractors rock. We are looking forward to their soon arrival. 🙂