This past year we have learned some hard lessons about storing up treasures on earth. We thought we had a good understanding of what the Lord was teaching us. We actually thought it was time to move on. It’s always risky to think you have finally figured it all out though.
Last night our treasure was revealed to us, and it was not what we expected.
Jeff was adjusting the temperature of the shower head (after hearing my complaints of taking another “cold” shower). We realized too late that we should have turned the water supply off before we started and soon there was water rushing across the bathroom floor. When the flow didn’t stop after a few seconds, I started to panic. How are we going to fix this, what’s going to happen?
Jeff was getting soaked trying to replace the piece that had come off. There was already about an inch of water on the floor. It was awful.
In our moment of disorientation, the Lord graciously gave us the guidance we needed to turn off the water supply. We quickly grabbed every towel in the house and started soaking up the spilled water. It seemed like things were under control and we were not too worried about any damage. But then we heard a dripping sound beneath us and rushed downstairs to see that the kitchen floor was also soaked, as water poured out from above our light fixture. Apparently, some water had traveled into the walls behind the shower and the only drain available was through the light fixture.
Jeff removed the fixture so the water could drain. We used the few towels we had left to dry up the wet floor and then sat down, shocked by what had just happened.
As I stood in my once beautiful kitchen, now covered in soaked towels, buckets, and a dirty ladder, I wanted to crumple on the ground and cry. What if everything was ruined? What if all the work we had done the past few months was wasted? Haven’t we had enough, Lord?! The image of my clean, bright kitchen was slowly fading.
And that’s when He opened my eyes to see the dark place I was allowing myself to go to. He gave me a vision of what was truly going on, that all the work He had been doing this past year was wasted if everything that I saw as good in the world was suddenly gone because this thing – this possession – had been ruined.
For the last several months, as we waited for our home to be rebuilt, as we have rebuilt our lives and replaced our things, God has been teaching us about holding on to our stuff. We were happy to get rid of so much because we could start fresh and move forward knowing that everything was just stuff.
But somewhere along the way, we got caught up in the things of this world again. We saw the gifts He had given us, we thanked Him profusely, but then almost unknowingly we put our hope in those gifts. We didn’t see it coming.
Funny, how it creeps in like that. Isn’t that often how Satan works? He takes something good, a gift from the Lord, and makes it an idol. We quickly forget all of the lessons we have learned. I suppose that is when the true test of character takes place, at a time when we least expect it.
God gave us a gift, He could so easily take it away. That’s true for any area of our lives, including our loved ones. Nothing is ours to hold onto, nothing is guaranteed, our life is but a breath. May we remember that always and welcome those reminders when needed.
In the end, everything turned out fine. By God’s good grace, the only damage we can see is to the light fixture in the kitchen. I was able to get around this morning with water and electricity, for that I am thankful. For the lessons, I am thankful. I pray we can hold on to what He’s showed us a little bit tighter now. We’ve sought forgiveness and hope to do better in the future.
Last night we learned a good lesson about where our hearts were, where we were looking to find our hope and joy. I encourage anyone to take time to process this same lesson, to take note of the things you hold most dear and open your hands to whatever plans the Lord has for you. The Lord is wildly unpredictable, He’s not safe, He’s not easy to understand. But He is so very good. And that, my friends, is enough.