Monday, January 17, 2011

Real-life Miracles

Let me begin this post by thanking you all for your prayers last week -  I have no doubt they contributed to what I consider a miracle.

It just didn't seem right to share at the time.  But now?  I don't know how I can't share it.  I'll start with the post I wrote last week, but never published:

"Monday night around 1am we received a phone call from the local Police Dept. that water was pouring from the door of our small business.  My husband and I hurried out there to see what was happening.

The snow hadn't arrived yet, and I remember saying "Thank God for that!" as we made our way north.

The cops had waited and they entered the salon with us, almost immediately identifying the source of the water.  A pipe beneath a sink had simply blown apart.

A pipe that probably only cost a few cents.

A pipe that only cost a few cents was responsible for the flood that now had our entire business underwater.

All our equipment.  Brand new flooring.  Brand new furniture.  Baseboard trim.  Computers.  Old paperwork.

Everything, completely immersed in about 3 inches of water.

We knew there was no way we could handle all that ourselves, so we had to call in the disaster cleanup experts (who, by the way, was a really awesome team of guys.)  They drove through the snow, which had finally begun to fall, and a few hours later they were pumping around 800 gallons of water out of our business.

They helped us carry out the brand new floor we had to rip out.  They moved the furniture that Jeff had just finished and arranged on Friday.  They vacuumed, and pumped, and hauled, and vacuumed some more.

While sloshing through the water, I found a Bible on the coffee table placed there just two days ago.  I remembered a blog post I had read only a few hours before.  Edie has just recently lost her home to a terrible fire, and she had blogged about a necklace she had with part of Isaiah 43 on it, where God calls us by a new name - calls us his.  Her post went on to say that a friend decided to read that verse in the bible and was amazed at what she found.  Coincidentally, I decided to look it up as I stood there in the flood waters, and was amazed myself:
"But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life." -Isaiah 43:1-4
Edie got the fire, and I got the water.  Standing there sloshing in my shoes, God reached down through that Bible verse and said, "I'm with you in these waters."  Yes, Lord, you are.  Help us to cling to that promise.

Finally around nine this morning we all left.  Praise the Lord, Jeff's truck actually got us home, through all 10 or 12 inches of snow we now have.  We got a few hours of sleep, but frankly we feel hungover.  Stunned.  We just look at each other, and say little.  Until we know the full extent of the damage, there's just not much to say.

So now, we wait.  Four massive dehumidifiers and an army of fans are running in the salon.  We'll give it a few days and go see what we're left with.

Whatever happens, I know that God has a bigger plan.  There was a reason for this flood, and I simply pray that we are attentive enough to notice what it is.

I would be humbled if you could join me in prayer for whatever we'll now face.  We are hopeful that the mold will stay away, that our equipment miraculously survived.  That we didn't just lose everything.  And that if we did, we'll trust God enough to take us forward through whatever might be next..."
Here were are, a week later.

By the end of today, our business will be almost completely restored to where it was just before the flood.  Sure, we're missing a few dollars out of our pockets that would been nice to still have, but I would be remiss in focusing on that, instead of the gift we were given.

All that expensive salon equipment, that sat directly on the floor, in inches of water, seems to have ALL survived.  The computer tower (that a week ago poured water out like a pitcher) is working just fine. I don't know about you, but the last time I checked, electrical circuits were not supposed to get wet.  If they did, they were toast.  I'm not talking about one or two items here.  It's more like 15 or 16, that all survived.

The mildew, thus far, has stayed away, and the carpets are dry.  The salon smells like it always has - like a salon.  Not like a recently flooded mess. The furniture was all saved.  Except for the flooring and baseboards, which we had to toss, everything was spared.

I find that nothing short of miraculous.

And I just have to share that.  God is still in the miracle business.

Maybe you're in need of a miracle yourself right now.  You're financially strapped.  You're fighting cancer.  You marriage is falling apart.  Your job is bringing you loads of stress.  You have a prodigal child.  The troubles of this world are practically endless.

I can't promise that you'll get a miracle like I did.  But I also can't say that you won't.  Ask God for one.  Cry out to Him with your pain, your worries, your regrets.  Then watch.  He may not send you a miracle, but He may send something just as amazing: peace. Patience. Perseverance, character, hope.  He can use all manner of trials to grow us, to refine us, to purify us.  You do your part by asking God to handle your mess, and then let Him.

Because He can.
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