Plumbers, Pedicures, and a Perfect Plan

“There is no panic in heaven.  God has no problems, only plans.” – Corrie ten Boom

Whenever I am asked what my favorite quote is, that one by Corrie ten Boom is always the one I give.  It speaks deeply to me.  I mean, for a woman who endured such terrible, dire, and hopeless circumstances to be able to say that is amazing.  (Actually, she said tons of amazing things.  What a godly woman!)

Anyhow, for that being my favorite quote, don’t you think I would remember it a bit more when some trial comes into my life?  You would think.  But not so much.  And I had a great reminder of this recently.  Let me share with you….

My birthday was just a few weeks ago.  Now that I am older, birthdays aren’t quite as exciting as they were when I was, say, 6.  But I still enjoy the sweet cards and gifts from my husband and kids.  But I really don’t make a big deal about it.  Anyway, my birthday was on a Sunday so I got lots of “happy birthday!” greetings from my church family.  It was really nice.  Then, a friend asked me if she could treat me to some pampering like a pedicure that following Saturday.  When she asked, I tried to play it cool and say, “Oh, sure that would be fun!”  But inwardly, I was VERY excited as I have never had a true pedicure in my life (you know – the foot soak, massage, warm paraffin wax type).  So, we made plans and I was really looking forward to it!

Fast forward to Friday.  I had been busy doing dishes, laundry, cleaning, and giving two of my kids baths.  I had noticed that our water didn’t seem to be very hot but just passed it off as because I had been using a lot of water that particular day.  Later that evening, just before supper, I turned on the kitchen sink and we had no hot water.  None.  I told my husband and he went down to the water heater to turn it back on.  We have had it randomly shut off on us a few times before.  No biggie.  Except it was a biggie – it would not turn back on this time.  Not at all.  Oh great.  What was the problem?  I didn’t have too much time to think about it as I had to leave to go somewhere for the evening.  So I left and my husband was home with the kids, trying to figure out the problem.

After some investigation, a phone call, and a friend coming over to look, they realized it was not an easy fix.  From what the call with a plumber said and what they had read in the manual, it looked like we were going to have to replace the whole water tank.  The WHOLE THING!

—A side note here is that over the past several months, we have had a lot of expensive things needing to be replaced – including a car! So we have been pretty tight financially and didn’t have any wiggle room.  And what’s worse is that it was after hours.  And we live in a small town where a plumber would have to come from a town farther away.  Which means we would have to not only pay double time for labour, but we would have to pay for mileage too! This news was not welcome at all.

So I’m off at my meeting when I get a text from my husband telling me the bad news.  Immediately I want to cry.  I feel overwhelmed and frustrated.  Why?  Why does it seem like we can’t get ahead?  Why did the stupid water heater have to break?  I guess you can say I started to panic.  When I got home that night, I went to bed and prayed – admittedly half-heartedly.  I just didn’t see how this was all going to work out.  I started thinking of everything in our house that we could sell to get some money.

The next morning I wasn’t any better.  I stood in the kitchen and cried.  I was so overwhelmed.  We had thought about just waiting to call the plumber on Monday, but, when we figured it all out, it really wouldn’t have saved that much money (and honestly, I didn’t want to go several more days without water.  I know – I live in a first world country and I am spoiled…).  So my hubs called the plumber.  And I left to go with my friend for my pedicure.

The place she took me to get our pedicures was a place she had not been before.  When we got to the address we realized it was at someone’s house.  This was a little awkward for us at first, as we walked in and her husband in the kitchen waved at us as we followed her downstairs to her basement.  I was thinking, “What in the world?  Do I really trust this friend?” 🙂

But, when got to the basement, we walked into this beautifully decorated spa room and sat down.  The lady was so friendly, and did a fabulous job on the pedicures.  I was relaxed and enjoyed the conversation.  I was able to forget about the plumbing problems just a bit.

You see, I had been stressed.  I was worried about how WE were going to figure this out.  How WE were going to financially be able deal with this unexpected expense. WE.  I was busy figuring out and forgot to include GOD!  HE had it all figured out.  HE knew this was going to happen.  HE knew how we would pay for it.

And here is where the Perfect Plan was revealed to me.  When we were just starting the pedicures, the lady asked how my friend and I knew each other.  We told her we met at church, that I was the associate pastor’s wife.  And that’s when she said, “Oh!  You know, reading the Bible has been on my bucket list for a long time.  So I just started that this year.”  We both looked at each other – neither of us have ever had a non-church person tell us that reading the Bible was on their “bucket-list.”

And then, throughout the whole two hours we were there, she kept talking about what she had been reading in the Bible, questions she had, and things she was thinking about.  We were able to talk with her about the Bible and God working on our lives.  My friend even whipped out her phone and played a song that has deep meaning on waiting on God. We invited her to the Bible study my hubby and I have each week at our house, and she didn’t just brush it off like most people do.  She was genuinely interested in it and even brought it up again as we were leaving.

My friend “randomly” selected this spa place out of a list of others.  What seemed a little strange for us at first was, I fully believe, actually divinely directed by God.  We were meant to be there.  We were meant to have appointments with that lady (who told us she usually doesn’t do appointments on Saturdays but decided to do them that day for some reason). It was God’s plan.

And the whole time we were doing this, my husband was back at our house with the plumber.  He was a good plumber who was able to fix the parts that were broken without having to replace the whole thing.  And while he was working, he noticed the Bible verses we have up around our house and asked my husband if we were “religious.”  My husband was then able to share for more than 10 minutes about God and what we believe.  And again, there is God’s perfect plan.  God didn’t panic when our hot water went out.  He allowed it to happen so that this particular plumber would come to our house, and would not only get paid double time for his work, but get eternal seeds of God’s Word planted in his heart and mind.

There was no need for me to panic and fret.  God had it all along.  As He always does.  And He always will.  Now, if I can just get it through my thick skull, maybe when trials come into my life, I will handle them a bit better.

Oh, and as for the finances – with the help of warranties and very generous people – God is taking care of that too.

~Emily

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