Two things never cease to amaze me:
1) How quickly life moves from calm to chaos
2) How God consistently provides—especially in the chaos.
The last five days of my life have been like something from a comedy show. If I were watching myself on TV, it would be hilarious. It’s one of those segments when you think it can’t possibly get worse, and then it does. The hits just keep on coming.
It’s been busy. VBS starts in two weeks, and I am way behind on my preparations. There is the end of year music recitals, awards ceremonies (one per grade, of course), parties, showers, graduations, and the regular appointments. I have articles to write, posts to read, and papers to sign. It’s almost too much of a good thing.
Did I mention hailstorms? We had a couple of those too—one on the way to piano lessons that flooded half the road and one right before bedtime. Thankfully, we weren’t hit as hard as the rest of the city, but I had kids that couldn’t sleep with the thunder, the lightning, and the pelting.
It’s seriously funny—unless you’re seriously in the middle of it all.
So while I was dashing about like a chicken with its head cut off, our garage refrigerator broke. I was racing out the door to award ceremony number one when I caught a whiff of what smelled like dead animal mingled with rotten food. Instinctively, I opened the refrigerator to see if something went bad. Warm air and foul odors rushed to greet me as I stood there, eyes wide. It had been working the day before while we were hurrying between worship services, lunch, and a Suzuki group recital. At least, I thought it had been working.
Between awards ceremony number one and awards ceremony number two, I rushed home and initiated sanitization. Thankfully, I only lost a whole chicken, a ham, and about forty-eight eggs. It could have been worse.
Less than 48 hours later, as I was passing through the garage (again) chauffeuring another kid to yet another appointment, I heard the sound of fast-draining water. I peered reluctantly into the closet of the garage where the water heater lives.
Water, water, everywhere.
Fabulous. First the refrigerator, now the water heater. Did I mention my husband’s jeep doors are hanging in front of the door to the closet so I can barely open it?
[Cue audience laughter]
It’s called life. It happens. It just happens to be happening more than I want it to. Even as I shimmied into the water heater closet trying desperately to reach the shut-off valve… Even as the sweat poured down my face, while I tried using pliers to both reach and rotate that valve made for taller people (and prayed ceaselessly for a little more leverage and a little less leg cramp).
Even as I’m thinking I really didn’t need another disaster…
Even so, God provided. He provided a friend to come help me. He provided dependable friends to recommend dependable plumbers. He provided the means—though originally slated for other projects—to pay for a replacement.
You may be dealing with far more serious troubles than an appliance meltdown.
You might be the parent bathed in tears, struggling to raise a severely autistic child. You might be the one caring for a chronically ill spouse or tending a disabled parent. You might be the one fighting to hold together a crumbling family. You might be the one with a shattered heart, crying yourself to sleep.
You might be fighting a fierce battle nobody else can see, but God sees and God cares. Wherever you are—in peace or in panic—take your troubles to God. He is our everlasting Rock, a place of safety.
Before the water heater debacle, as I was catching up on a few missed days of Bible reading, this passage popped up:
“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer;
From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,
For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!” (Psalms 61:1-4 ESV)
The timing was no mere coincidence. I needed that passage to prepare my heart for what was coming.
Life is downright messy. The things God reveals in His word aren’t just platitudes for a sanitized life—these are truths to sustain us whether we are enjoying a moment of peace or whether we find ourselves wrestling with stubborn valves or broken hearts.
I may be calling on the Lord from the ends of the earth or simply from a cramped closet, but no matter where I am, I know He hears my cry. He may not answer in my time or my way, but He always answers at the right time and in His perfect way.
Is your heart overwhelmed? I want to point you to the Rock that is higher than both of us. Rest in the dependable safety of the Almighty God.
Elihu Anderson is a surviving California native currently thriving in West Texas. When she isn’t writing for Elihu’s Corner, she is teaching, researching, walking, and book-worming with a cup of chai. Visit Elihu at elihuscorner.com