Things happen in threes. I am not sure what the odds on this statement are but I feel like more often than not it is true. This weekend was one of those times in our family’s life that this was the case, and that when it rains it pours.
This past weekend we were gearing up for a teaching and equipping conference at our church. We are part of the leadership team in our house church (like a bible study) and this conference was the second of four big teaching conference weekends. So Friday afternoon, while I’m feeding Teddy, I see Bilbo, (our dog) at the front door… on the wrong side of it. How he got there, I have no idea. He had been in the backyard most of the day because it had been so nice out. When I brought him into the house, I discovered he a swollen eye with some scratches around it and his two front legs were bleeding. Oh, and he had decided to cover himself in poop. Side note, I am not who you want in a crisis; I panic and immediately become super anxious. Anyways, so I called my husband and he called the vet. Our vet was not in the office because it was Friday at 5pm, so we ended up at an animal hospital nearby. They check Bilbo out and luckily he was fine other than some fairly deep abrasions (how he got those is still a mystery). We got some cream for his legs and an antibiotic to make sure nothing became infected. However, by the time we got home from the vet, and gave him a bath to get rid of all the cat poop, all the adrenalin that was pumping though Bilbo was gone and he was in a lot of pain. The rest of the day, we had to carry him outside to go potty and pick him up to lay him on his chair. At that point, we didn't feel comfortable leaving Bilbo alone all the next day while at the conference, so we decided I would stay home and Jon would go to the conference. End event 1.
Saturday, Jon headed off to the conference, and I was at home with Bilbo who was acting more like himself but being pretty dainty with his front legs. That afternoon I had a bridal shower to go to, so around 12:30 I started getting ready. I had picked out a dress but due to some horrible wrinkles I went downstairs to get the iron. This is when Event 2 begins to unfold. I discover water on the floor, and then a drop hit the water from above me. There is water dripping from part of our (finished) basement wall. Again, I suck in crisis, I panic and look back into the utility closet and don't really see anything so I call Jon, who calls a plumber. We got someone out and found the line to our fridge had a hole in it and was just spraying water everywhere. It had been spilling into the kitchen floor, the kitchen wall, and all down through the basement ceiling, walls, and floor. So now not only am I not at the conference, but Jon has to leave the conference as well to meet the plumber while I go to the bridal shower. The plumber comes and fixes the water line and they assess the damage and get us set up for some restoration and clean up guys to come out the next day. End event 2.
Sunday we decided that I would go to the conference and Jon would wait for the restoration people to come and set up all the fans and take the basement wall down (we had been told the day before they would show up in the morning). They do not show up in the morning. Jon could have come to the conference with me and stayed all day and still not missed the restoration people; but this is when event 3 takes place. Sunday afternoon, after I get home, we are still waiting for the restoration team to come and Jon goes downstairs to do some laundry. He discovers our basement bathroom sink had backed up with all of the crap from our garbage disposal in the kitchen sink upstairs (yes our plumbing is whack), and has been spilling out all over the bathroom floor and into the hallway.
At this point Jon and I are exhausted. How many thing can go wrong in a 48 hour period. I truly felt like we were being attacked by the evil one because he didn’t want us at this conference. The evil one hates kingdom work and he pulled out all the stops to distract us, keep us from going and get us to a point of exhaustion so that even if we did go, our minds would be elsewhere. However in the midst of all the chaos we were able to see Jesus’ hand; let me take you back and show you.
Event one - I almost always check for Bilbo throughout the day; however on this particular day my attention got pulled to other things (which I also think was from the Lord because if Bilbo had been gone when I looked for him, again panic, crisis - NO good). Another one of those things was opening out front door. I don’t normally open the front door in the middle of the day; I usually open it in the morning or not at all. But on this day I had opened some windows and thought it would be nice to get some light into the front room. Had I not had the urge to open the front door when I did I probably would not have seen Bilbo at the front door and he might have run off again.
Event two - Like I said before, I was prepping for a bridal shower when I noticed the leak (I was in fact looking for the iron). There are three unique things about this one. One, our iron is normally in the office upstairs, but a few weeks ago, a friend was staying at our house and she used it in the basement, where it stayed until I went to get it on Saturday. Two, I DON’T IRON, like I have not ironed something in years, YEARS, I was not even sure I knew how to use the iron but I needed it. Third, had Bilbo not gotten out which led me to stay home with him, I would have not needed the iron, which means I would not have noticed the leak. So had that friend not taken the iron downstairs and/or had I chosen a different dress when I noticed the one I picked needed to be ironed or had I gone to the conference, I don’t find the leak. Like seriously the orchestration in this is mind blowing!
Event three - Jon was the one who went down to do laundry. Jon has a much sharper noise for bad smells than I do. Had I been the one to go do the laundry I probably would not have noticed anything, supported by the fact that I walked past that bathroom the day before to get the iron and didn’t notice anything; even if I had noticed, I probably would have chalked it up to the wet walls from the water leak. But thankfully Jon was doing the laundry, smelled something and investigated.
Each of these events could have been so much worse. We could have lost Bilbo or he could have gotten more seriously injured, we could have not noticed the leak until our whole kitchen subfloor and basement walls were destroyed and we could have continued to use our kitchen sink causing the basement bathroom to back up even more until that flooded or caused bigger problems. In the midst of the evil one trying to distract, frustrate and keep us from community the Lord was right there prompting us and protecting us. This weekend was by no means an easy one, and we probably didn’t handle everything with grace and thanksgiving, but looking back I am so thankful for the Lord’s prompting upon Jon and I. He was before us, behind us and next to us each step of the way.
So I want to encourage you, when you are feeling attacked take a step back and look for the hand of God, because I promise you it is there.
Acts 2:25-26 For David says concerning him,
“‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.