Our house has thrown us three curve balls over the past three weeks. Here's the short version:
I already mentioned last week about the dishwasher springing a leak two weeks ago. It could have been worse. I could have left home and come back to hardwood floors soaked in water! I'm thankful that I noticed the water coming out onto the floor before any damage was done.
Last week, our garage door spring broke, and the door wouldn't budge. It was open at the time, and Brad was able to manually pull it down. It could have been worse. We could have not been home at the time and would have been locked out of the house when we returned. We depend on the garage door opening every time we return home because we do not carry a key to the front door. (I know that's not very smart. We should definitely find that front door key!) I'm thankful we were there and were able to hear it happen and know almost immediately what was wrong. Otherwise, we would have been a little confused. I'm also thankful that no one was outside when the spring broke because a metal wire being held in place by the spring went flying and could have possibly hurt someone if they'd been in its path. Another thing to be thankful for in this situation is the very kind man who came and fixed it. I called three different people that I found in the yellow pages, and this man was the cheapest. He also just happened to be in the area when I called and came by immediately and took a look at it. He told me he'd be back the next morning to fix it, and he was there when he said he would be. He also fixed another issue with the door and didn't charge us for it. (If you're having garage door problems, let me know. I definitely know who to recommend!)
This week, all of the sudden the toilets did not want to flush and "stuff" started coming up through the pipes into the sinks, bathtubs, and showers. I called Brad and told him what was going on and immediately he knew it was the septic tank. When he got home and investigated, he felt it best that no toilets be flushed or anymore water run. So, the girls and I hated to desert him, but we packed up and went to my mom and dad's. He had someone come out the next morning and drain the septic tank, and all is well now. It could have been worse. Like a friend that Brad works with, the "stuff" could have busted through the pipes and landed throughout the basement. This was an easy fix, and although we really had not budgeted for this, the cost could have been much more - once again citing the friend that Brad works with. I'm thankful that Chad (don't know him personally, but his slogan was "Don't get mad, call Chad") was able to come out quickly. (Speaking of slogans, we saw a truck in this same type of business the other day who had his slogan printed on the back of his truck. It said "We're #1 in the #2 business." I thought that was pretty funny!) I'm thankful my parents live nearby or otherwise we'd been in a hotel. (Boys can do without a restroom. Girls cannot. At least not these girls.)
I have so much to be thankful for, and as I was reminded the other day, our children are looking at us to see how we react to these situations. The phrase "no use crying over spilled milk" comes to mind. These problems are so minor compared to what some people are going through, why should they get me upset? These are just things, and compared to the people in my life, they are way down on the priority list. The money thing can be mildly irritating, but I believe that God has a purpose for everything that comes our way - even dishwashers, garage doors, and septic tank problems. Even these little temporary frustrations can make us stronger in the Lord if we react correctly.
I find it relatively easy (so far) to react correctly in these minor situations. It's the BIG things, like problems, sickness, etc. with family and friends that scare me. Those are the situations that truly grow us and make us stronger, but who wants to go through those? Not me! But the sovereign God of the Universe has a purpose for everything that comes my way. I'm thankful that I haven't had to deal with too many of those BIG things, but I do see how God used those things in my life to show Himself to me in BIG ways, and I love Him more because of it. I'm sure if I live many more years on this earth that more BIG things will come my way, but nothing is going to catch Him by surprise. Everything is part of His BIG plan, and although it scares me a bit - no one wants to experience heartache, I can only trust my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to see me through whenever it does happen. Sometimes I try to mentally prepare myself for things that might happen, but what I'm really doing is worrying, which is never a good thing.
As I was reading Isaiah 40 this morning, this verse caught my attention: vs. 29 - He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Worry can definitely make me feel faint, weary - completely suck the life out of me. God doesn't want me to worry about the future.
Phillipians 4:6 - Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. "Be careful for nothing" means we should not worry. We should talk to God about whatever is troubling is.
I Peter 5:7 - Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Jesus has already proven how much He cares for us. He wants us to cast all our care upon him. We're to let Him take care of it. What should we be doing in the meantime? Worshiping, praying, and being thankful.
When we do these things, we can go back to Isaiah 40:31 and see the results: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.
Worry is such a joy stealer. No one is going to see Jesus living through me if I'm putting up a wall of worry that He can't get through.
Psalm 5:11 - But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
That is my prayer today that I will not let worry interfere with my joy. I learned a long time ago that I (as mother and wife) set the "joy thermometer" around this household, and it's important that I remember that each day.
In this life we do get some curve balls on occasion, and who wants to strike out? Only through Jesus can we hit home runs off of those curve balls. It can be done!