Discovering Spiritual Truths & Celebrating God's Grace in the Every Day Happenings of Life.
Many of my congregation members are already aware of this information, after my late-night email and plea for dehumidifiers this past Sunday evening. Unfortunately, my family had some significant water in our basement over the weekend. Can you even imagine? After six long weeks of work to completely finish our basement, the first attempt at using our new downstairs shower sprung a leak from behind the freshly painted walls. Unbeknownst to us, during a 12-hour absence, hot water was unobtrusively springing up from behind the newest walls in our brand-new home. Following an awesome, full-day with visiting friends down at the Jersey Shore, we came home to standing water and a squishy floor. After shutting off the hot water throughout the house, we spent a couple of panicky hours sopping up water and drying out bedding. Needless to say, watching water come up through the seams of brand-new flooring is quite disheartening. Thankfully, the damage seems to be limited to the still-present hole in the wall that was cut to fix the faulty plumbing. Drywall is easily replaceable. Everything else was fine. And now, our chorus of humming dehumidifiers are drying things out quite nicely—when they’re not tripping my circuit breaker.
Sometimes God has a wicked sense of humor. Our Old Testament reading from this past Sunday was filled with irony for me. Still slightly fatigued from a sleepless Friday night, I couldn’t help but chuckle when I heard our assisting minister read these words from Genesis. “God said to Noah, ‘Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you… I establish my covenant that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’” (Gen. 9:8-11) Did you catch that? God will never again use water to destroy the earth. Sadly no mention of newly purchased living abodes. Listen up preacher man, there’s divine raillery shining through in a teachable moment. The waters may have wreaked havoc on your pristine basement, but they won’t destroy the earth. Ha! A subtle reminder to keep things in perspective. Even while sucking up water in a ShopVac… look for a rainbow and remember His promise. Touché God, touché!
This past Tuesday, with our King of Kings Preschool kids during Vacation Bible School, we looked at the story of Queen Esther. Do you remember her? According to one source, she is the most mentioned woman in the Old Testament. It’s a fascinating story, well-worth the 10 minutes to read. An interesting fun fact is that the book of Esther never states God’s name directly. But that doesn’t mean He isn’t there; His involvement is felt in many ways throughout the story. It is clearly a story of God’s intervention and deliverance. Esther was a beautiful young lady, who found herself in a position of influence and power. But she is an unlikely heroine—a peasant girl, orphaned at a young age, and exiled from her homeland of Jerusalem. Perhaps the most familiar passage from this short Old Testament book is when her caregiver and older cousin, Mordecai, pleaded with her to use her newfound royal position to help her people and save her family. Mordecai informed Esther of the real threat and pending plan of annihilation to all her fellow Jews. He begged her to go before the king and plead for mercy for her people. But Esther knew that anyone who appeared before the king without being summoned would be put to death unless the king favored them. Mordecai called on Queen Esther to boldly fulfill her duty with these stirring words: "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14) Esther accepted the mission and ultimately succeeded in saving her people. Because of her, what was supposed to be the day of the Jewish people's destruction, instead became the day of their deliverance. Our VBS kids looked at this story to help bring home the point, ‘Family and friends help us stand strong.’
After six weeks, the work of finishing my basement is complete. This was an endeavor that took almost twice as long as anticipated. As with any project, there were plenty of bumps in the road. Not being able to get the drywall down the stairs. Brand new purchases that were flawed. Items that needed to be returned. Higher than normal material costs. Other minor setbacks or inconveniences. But now, finally, we have a usable space for our kids to hang out or watch a movie as a family. Or perhaps I will add some locks to the door, turn it into a ‘man cave’ and allow my family down there by appointment only. 😉
Yet there is still work to be done. There are still places to touch up with paint. Sure, the heavy lifting and banging hammers is complete; the electric is wired and working plumbing installed. Walls have been painted and floors have been cleaned. But still, it is just an empty room. We still have to find furniture, accessorize and decorate. Such is the reality of owning a home. There is always a project. Something to be fixed or replaced. Something to be upgraded or refreshed. Something to be added or taken away. Landscaping to be done. No matter the size or the age of your house, it is always a work in progress.
Pastor Steve Vera