I hate it when appliances stop working. They burst, explode or refuse to function. It makes me happy to think that everything that makes my life convenient will do its job. Yet, when a major appliance like my hot water heater starts spewing water everywhere, I reach a moment of crisis.
I fall apart when things seem out of control.
And honestly, God has decided to teach me amidst my broken appliances. For example, my oven heats up but then shuts off in the middle of baking. I think it likes it when I plead with it to stay on. Then my clothes dryer, it died a few months ago. My husband replaced it, but soon after we realized the old one had burned up due to an obstruction in the dryer vent. After a few weeks of using amazing contraptions to clear up the clog, we saw a huge improvement. The downstairs air conditioner had issues next and soon after that I discovered the hot water heater had given me its last warmth embrace as I took a shower. Never mind the mess it left for us to clean or the water damage, I felt spent. And I too decided to spew.
I’m certain God smiles in my moments of rage and fits. He’s thinking, “This is good for you. You do not have control.” Deep inside I know this, but when things or even people stop meeting my expectations, I fall apart and wonder, “Why now?”
Sometimes I want to believe I can control life. I want everything, including busted hot water heaters to fit in my plans, in my time and when it’s convenient for me. And I want God to work within those boundaries. Surely, He will see that I’m working hard enough that He will make things easy. And just like I expect appliances to work for my convenience, I want God to work in my life the same way.
On Wednesday morning I went to Bible study at my church. I decided to go even though workers, plumbers and water removal specialists had taken over my house. I sat there feeling indifferent until I heard the speaker say, “God has a vision for us beyond the circumstances we find ourselves in.”
Something in me switched. Soon God’s truth poured into my mind and I remembered, “Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
“Thankful? Okay, let’s see. Hmmm, well there’s my hair. It looks good today. Oh and I’m thankful for my kids. They seem healthy. Ummm, workers seem nice and respectful. Uh, I’m alive. Free. I live in a country that allows me to come to church to seek refuge. Rick has worked from home for a few weeks so he has taken over dealing with all the workers. Oh, and all the work is under warranty, no out of pocket expenses…” I went on and on.
And kept going even after Bible study had ended. I drove home thanking God for the sunshine, His mercies, His faithfulness and so on. My perspective changed and after I got home I did what I could to continue to function amidst the chaos.
Then last night it hit me. God allows these moments to teach me to have faith in Him. Trust Him, not the things that make my life easy!
I prayed for forgiveness and remembered God’s grace in my life. “God, I know you have my best interest at heart. You love me and call me friend. You find pleasure in me! Thank you for allowing me to bust, explode and stop so that I can get a new perspective on the things that really matter."
“For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6.