Water main breaks … and God

Chuck Tabor - Contributing columnist

It was a day that started off just like any other. I awoke, poured my first cup of coffee, spent some special time in devotional exercises, showered, shaved, and then began to prepare breakfast.

As I was preparing to make some more coffee, I turned on the water faucet and – lo and behold! There was no water pressure!

What had I done to cause this? Was the shower the same way?

I retraced my steps and turned on the shower and there was no pressure there either.

What do you do when you are faced with a situation like that? I walked out to the front of our home to see if there was any commotion from our neighbors. Seeing none, I assumed that the water pressure problem was simply a localized issue confined to our home.

I returned to the house and began to examine all the valves and pipes coming into the home, as well as all the places inside the home where a leak might occur and thereby drain the pressure from the lines. At one point in my search, I decided to return to the kitchen and try the sink faucet one more time.

This time, the pressure had returned to normal. OK, just a momentary glitch in the system. So I returned to my office to continue the work I was hoping to complete on the computer. I was working on that for about half an hour when all of a sudden all the power in the house went out. No electric. All the clocks had stopped. All the ceiling fans had stopped, and all the lights were out.

I then went outside to see if my neighbors were affected by this, and two of my neighbors were indeed outside talking. I walked toward them and realized they were indeed discussing the power issues. We talked for a while – it was comforting to know it was not just my home that was affected – and I headed back to the house.

When I got back to the house, the power had returned and the appliances, the clocks, and the computer were all working once again.

Then my bride decided to go get the mail. Our mailbox is located in a mail center about a block away from our home. She walked to the mailbox and when she returned she told me the news. There were crews out on the main road and they were digging in the street. They had the main street of our village completely blocked and no one was getting in or out.

It was then that we had discovered the issue – just this morning, a 16-inch water main had broken right outside our development. Thus the water issues, and thus the power issues.

For the next two days the road was blocked off. The crews were working around the clock to repair this situation and get things back to normal as quickly as possible.

But until it was completely repaired, there would be some inconveniences: For some, they were required to boil all water until further notice. The main road into our village was blocked with cones and a guard to prevent anyone from coming into the area who did not belong there or have business there. The mail center, the EMT station, and the local pool were all completely blocked off to traffic.

Pardon me for the diversion, but I could not help but see a spiritual principle in all of this.

For the follower of Christ in the real world, our life should be a lot like that water main BEFORE the problem hit. Things are going along smoothly, and we all-too-often take life and the circumstances we face in it for granted. But then a crisis occurs, and the normal is interrupted.

Who knows what the crisis may be?

It may indeed be nothing we directly caused to happen – a job loss, a financial crisis, a health issue, even the loss of a loved one, but whatever the issue it disrupts all that we have, if you will, taken for granted as being a part of our “normal” life.

I believe that for the true follower of Jesus Christ, such disruptions in “service” should not take us aback, or even catch us off guard. For you see, they are all designed to help us trust the One who knows what is best for us.

Whenever we face a crisis in the daily routines of our lives, the Holy Spirit of God is there to pick up the pieces, to clean out the old “junk” that perhaps has made the mess in our lives in the first place, and to get us back on track with Him.

When the Bible says about itself that it is ”profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16), that is what it means. God is telling us that when we have a “water main break” in our lives, we should turn to God and His Word, and He will clean up the mess, and get us back on the right track.

Another thought to consider as we think about this: I was reminded of a song I heard George Beverly Shea sing years ago at a Billy Graham crusade in Columbus, Ohio. The title and first line of the song were something like this: “When you say God seems so far away, who moved?”

The fact is that if our lives seem off course, out of the direction that God has called us to live, when we are facing crises that seem to have no solution, when the water main of our lives seems to have sprung a gigantic leak, that is the time to turn back to God and His Word and allow Him to clean up the mess!


God bless …

Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the Times-Gazette and the News Journal. He is also the former Pastor of Port William UMC.


Chuck Tabor

Contributing columnist