For the past fifty years that Janet and I have been married, our number one nuisance has been damage from water in our homes. So Janet knew something was wrong when I ran upstairs yesterday morning and let her know that we once again were having a crisis with water.
Way back when we were first married, the washer and dryer for our apartment house was right outside our back door where the laundry room was located. Something was always wrong with the washer and I worried about the day that water would penetrate the back of our apartment under the door! We got away a year later with minor damage, but the experience in our next home, a condo, wasn’t as good.
There, and we lived on the fifth floor, our washer did cause a big problem when a hose broke and water ran down five floors, damaging the ceilings and floors of all the condos below us. The water was running for hours… It was an omen of things to come throughout our various homes since then.
Our first actual house was a tri-level and sure enough, our crawl space flooded, taking with it some of our Christmas ornaments from the early years of our marriage. The loss in that flood also included family heirloom ornaments that I still recall from my childhood. Luckily, other than those, everything else could be replaced and the next Christmas we had to purchase another tree! Some luggage and other things had to be replaced but it was workable.
Several years later we moved again. Our home went on the market near the beginning of winter. We had already moved to a new place about 40 minutes away and our old home was being shown on a cold day. Somebody, presumably either the realtor or the prospective buyer, turned the heat off – the pipes froze and we took on more than 30,000 gallons of water in our basement – almost up to the top step leading to the main floor of our home. It was like a a huge indoor swimming pool!
The fire department was called, broke a window to gain access, and pumped the water out of our home. We received a bill from the water company for all the water. The furnace, electrical panel and many other appliances were ruined and had to be replaced…
Our next house, in Inverness, had it’s two sump pumps stop working and the lower level of our home flooded. We also had an outside staircase to the basement and the drain keeping water out of our home was clogged underground – yep, water under the door into our home… the septic system also broke and raw sewage backed up into the basement! Another major repair.
The move to Indiana came with water issues as well. Not as bad as some of our past experiences, but we lost heat on one Christmas Eve and that resulted in a water issue as well.
Then, there was the time that our humidifier was clogged one fall and it overflowed in our furnace room. You guessed it – waster flooded that room and also went under the wall damaging the flooring in the finished area of the basement. We got through that one as well, with some, but not massive, damage.
This weekend, we had the second significant incident since we moved here. This is in addition to the replacing of the sump pumps as well as other equipment that helped clear the sewage out of the house from our lowest level. Yesterday, we had a hole develop in a copper pipe near the hot water heater. For some limited time, water sprayed against a wall, into carpeting and damaging part of my theological library. We have already made plans to start the process of repairing the damage. We are just tired of dealing with water destroying our stuff.
So you can see that water has plagued us for more than fifty years. I kept thinking of verses that would mirror our experiences. Then, I thought about Jesus being living water and how water symbolizes salvation and eternal life. Or how about the story of Job; and God’s control of the water? Or the Flood (that resonates with me) that covered the earth in the time of Noah? Even the parting of the Red Sea or the crossing of the Jordan into the Promised Land are all great stories about water!
But for tonight, I have chosen a verse from the prophet Isaiah. While not as famous as some verses I could use, it fits a my mindset a little better. Because it is important to remember that no matter the circumstance, God is in control and He is with us though all our trials and tribulations. Isaiah tells us the words of God in Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” That’s good to hear!
My encouragement this evening is that God is with us always – sometimes I need to remember that in the heat of the crisis. But even now, I find myself returning to a more peaceful state of mind. Nobody was hurt yesterday – and nothing of irreplaceable value was lost. My prayer is that we will all take these detours in stride and remain focused on the big picture – Christ is with us – throughout eternity. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…