We live out in the middle of nowhere at the end of a long gravel road at the base of a mountain range. Our water system has always been an enigma to me, and it has continually frustrated me as it has run dry at inopportune times. When we least expect it, there is a problem with the tubing or the tank or the community’s water supply and suddenly there is no running water on our property for a couple hours or a couple days.
When it rains hard (which it does here frequently), the tubes get clogged up with debris, leaving us without water. When they do work on the community’s water system up the mountain, they close off the pipes, leaving us without water. When our dear neighbor’s cow herd comes over to graze (which happens several times per week), the cows break the tubes, leaving us without water.
That means no water for washing dirty dishes, no water for showers, and extra costs and hassle in buying large back-up water jugs for drinking water. It also means traipsing down to the river behind our property to wash clothes, to fill up the farm animal’s drinking pails, and maybe even to bathe ourselves.
A couple weeks ago as Darwin was getting ready to go out of town for a week with our faith community to install a potable water system in a poor rural village in another part of Honduras, I found myself complaining about our own water system and not looking forward to having to jimmy with the valves, revise the tubes, hope the water didn’t go out when we had a pyramid of dirty dishes, etc, while Darwin was away.
Praise God Darwin cut me off before I sent out official invitations to my pity party. With a sincere grin on his face and outstretched arms he said, “Hey, we haven’t died of thirst yet!”
That is code for: Jennifer, God has continually provided us with what we need, even if at times it is not convenient or easy. Let’s give thanks rather than complain.
And he is so right. I laughed and agreed, “You’re right; we haven’t died of thirst yet,” and assumed an inward posture of humble thanksgiving toward our Constant Provider, knowing full well that He is always good and worthy of praise.
A few days later while Darwin was out of town, I was working in our living room when someone came to our front door. It was our beloved neighbor who weed-eats our yard each month, and he came bearing bad news. While weed-eating, he accidentally chopped the entire tube in half that descends from our water tank to provide water to the buildings on our property.
I left what I was doing and serenely followed him around the back of the kitchen to the scene of the accident, certain that what I was about to see wouldn’t be pretty, but at the same time not bothered at all. Sure enough, the tube was sliced in half and water was spraying out in all directions, rapidly emptying the tank of our entire source of water. I laughed and thought, Well, this is new!
With newfound peace and thanksgiving bursting forth from my heart, knowing full well that we would be without water until he would be able to go buy the replacement part and return to fix the tube, I assured him that mistakes happen and that God is always good.
Later that afternoon, as the mountain of laundry called my name, I filled up bucket after bucket, hauling them on my shoulders down to the river behind our home, laughing under the falling rain at the goodness of God’s grace. As I knelt on the river’s shore, washing our clothes and towels in the rushing, cleansing current, I felt as though I had never before been happier or had a deeper understanding of how constant God’s provision is. Completely wet and completely joyful, my jeans marked up with mud and grass stains and my wooly socks saturated inside of my rain boots, body straining to heave heavy buckets of wet clothes across our property, I never felt more clearly the joy of God’s presence.