“And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJ)
It was not my finest moment as a christian.
I was so cold.
I was soaked.
I was frustrated and tired.
And I felt alone and defeated.
An hour before that moment, I had left work late after an unusually bad day and all I wanted to do was pick up a pizza, go home, put on my pajamas, and indulge myself while watching a good romantic comedy.
But my evening did not go as planned.
I walked straight from the front door into my kitchen, sat the pizza box down on the counter, took off my coat, scarf, and gloves, and opened up the box to grab a slice of pizza to munch on while heading to the bedroom to change. And that’s when I heard it . . . the sound of rushing water. And I went into panic mode. We had just gone through a couple of nights of temperatures in the teens and I knew I had a busted pipe and I just knew it was somewhere under the house. I threw the pizza slice down and ran to the back door, switching the back porch light on as I flew down the steps.
That’s when the real adventure began.
The porch light didn’t work so I stumbled into total darkness where the sound of rushing water was almost deafening. Okay, I know that’s a little dramatic but I guess you had to be there. I ran back into the house to grab a flashlight and could not find a single one anywhere, which is a little ironic because my son is in the military and we have probably had at least twenty military-issued flashlights in the house at one time. But being the resourceful single woman who I am, I remembered I had a flashlight app on my phone so I ran back to my purse to fetch that handle little gadget. I ran back outside, still forgetting to grab my coat, and proceeded to find the source of what had messed up my night of indulgence. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I discovered that the problem was not under my house, but the outside faucet that had burst. Either way, I knew what I had to do – I had to cut off the main water supply.
And that’s when my backyard became Pity Party Central. As the cutoff valve was located a foot in the ground and about five feet directly in front of the outside faucet, it had filled with water and mud from the water continuously washing over it. Even though I am a country girl, I have to admit that I hesitated for a moment before reaching my hand down into the unknown to turn that valve off. Only, it would not budge. I didn’t have the strength to turn it. At that moment, I caved. I broke down. And the tears flowed. And they weren’t silent tears. I didn’t just cry out loud. I wailed. There I was in the dark on my knees, still in my work clothes and dress shoes, water rushing over me, shivering from the cold, and I was giving up. Me, the woman who has always been the epitome of strength while taking care of everyone and everything, was looking up at the night sky and yelling “I am tired of doing this life alone. I can’t do this anymore!”
And then there was silence – no sound of water. Nothing. Nothing but peace. For a moment, I was unaware of the dark. I was unaware of being more and more drenched with every second that went by. I was unaware of the cold. All I knew was peace and the Holy Spirit whispering, “I didn’t go anywhere. I’ve been here the whole time.” Wow! I realized that I had been too busy trying to control everything from trials to weaknesses that I had not asked God for help. I was putting my trust in myself or food or shopping or various other things instead of putting my trust in Him. I knew I had to change. And I had a renewed strength as I leaned over to easily cut the water valve off.
I stood up and surveyed the aftermath of the night’s event and praised God that it happened and for his grace and loving me enough to never give up on me.
And I walked backed into the house and threw away that pizza box.