What hassles are you dealing with today? No matter how much we wish they would disappear and never resurface, the reality is that hardships and hassles are part of life. The only thing we get to control about them is our attitude.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
Hebrews 12:28 – NIV
Last Wednesday afternoon, Eric and I journeyed home from South Carolina. We had enjoyed a wonderful week long camping trip that offered great opportunities to see my extended family at our annual reunion and other gatherings. Now it was time to get home, check on my garden and return to my usual routines.
While Eric parked the camper, I hopped out of the truck and headed for the house. I stepped through the back door onto my throw rug, and water splashed over the top of my sandals. Looking down at the pool of water surrounding my feet, I exclaimed, “Oh NO!”
Jumping forward, I dashed around the kitchen scanning for signs of more water. Realizing that the water had not yet reached the rest of the kitchen or my dining room floor, I took off to find towels and ensure the rest of the house was intact. Thankfully, it was.
As I dropped to the floor to sop up the water with beach towels, I said aloud, “Thank you, God. Thank you it’s not any worse.”
With a glance at the floor beneath the refrigerator, I felt my heart sink. Water was dripping from the bottom of the freezer drawer. By the time I had mopped up the pool of water at the back door and in the storage closet, another puddle had formed. That’s when I knew we were in serious trouble.
Eric stepped in the door to receive this unwelcome news and immediately grabbed the freezer door to open it. Alas, the freezer was frozen shut. The door wouldn’t budge, and the water continued to gush out. We could hear the ice maker continuing to cycle on despite our suspicion that the entire freezer drawer was encased in a solid block of ice. Having nowhere else to go, the water was pouring out from the bottom of the freezer compartment.
Needless to say, it has been a rough couple of days. The refrigerator was damaged beyond repair, in part due to the crowbar we finally resorted to in order to get the freezer drawer open and the uninvited water spout to stop. Thanks to the help of our insurance company (Thank you, USAA!),a water mitigation crew was dispatched to assess the situation and limit further damage. The response team was knowledgeable and efficient, a pleasure to work with.
As I sit here writing, I am surrounded by a dehumidifier and large fans noisily blowing air to dry the subfloor. My kitchen looks more like a disaster zone than a dining facility. The extent of the damage is still unclear. It all depends on how things dry out. Clearly, there is a long road ahead before I will once again have a well ordered kitchen.
Still, it could be worse. In fact, it could have been much worse. We almost stopped for two extra days of camping in the mountains, but something nudged me that we should get on home instead. I now know that it was the Holy Spirit intervening on our behalf.
Despite my torn up kitchen, I choose to be thankful. Yes, it is a hassle. Yes, the weeks ahead will be fraught with challenges, but what has been damaged are just things, and things can be replaced.
Today, I remind myself that hassles and hardships are part of life. I cannot control their arrival. All I can control is my attitude.
Once again, it’s about choices. Will we begrudge and bemoan, or just be grateful? Will we choose to whine and worry, or take it all in stride? Will we be cranky, or stay calm and stay the course? Will we be bitter or will we live blessed?
The choice is ours. The floor will still be wet, the refrigerator still ruined. I cannot change these circumstances, but I do get to choose my response to this crisis.
Today, I choose to trust that God will see us through this difficulty as He has so many times before. Today, I choose to be thankful. As I step carefully around my battered kitchen, I choose to keep on keeping on.
By the way, when you head out for your next vacation, take a moment to turn off your ice maker and close off its attached water line. It’s a little step that can save you from a load of hassles.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – NIV
O God of Grace and Goodness, thank You for Your protection and provision. Though life is full of hassles and hardships, we know that You have not abandoned us. Rather, You remain with us always, and it is You who sees us through the hardships, who comforts us in our losses. Bad things happen in this fallen and sinful world, but You are good, and Your steadfast love endures forever. You never leave nor forsake us, but You make a way for us when the path before us is blocked with obstacles. Thank You, Lord, for Your guiding Hand and abiding Love.