Sunday, March 5, 2017

I love Him more than water

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water" (Psalm 63:1).

Do y’all remember the snowpacolypse in Georgia two years ago?  I’m sure you must.  It seems like all of America was laughing about Atlanta that year, well, except for the people stuck on the highway in Atlanta.  It was so cold that one of the pipes running between buildings on our property froze, and we didn’t have water for a week.  We ended up spilling $800 dollars worth of water before the water company showed up and cut off our water.  They said that it couldn’t be reconnected until we found the problem, fixed the problem, and paid the bill.  We were shocked.  We didn’t even know there was a problem, and they couldn’t offer us any advice about how to find it, how to fix it, or how to finance it.

As we looked at the plumbing inside the house, between the house and the barn, and between the barn and the pasture, we became frustrated because we just couldn’t find the problem.  We stopped looking and started praying.  We asked friends and coworkers to pray, too.  We hauled water from the pond to flush the toilets and bought water at the Piggy Wiggly for cooking and drinking.  We loaded up the children on a trailer behind the ATV and drove next door to shower and bathe them.  Somehow, we survived.  We didn’t despair, but I’ll be honest and say that I did cry.  I cried because taking care of 12 children isn’t easy anyway, and the extra work made me tired and cranky.  I also cried because taking care of 12 children is expensive, and we didn’t have an extra $800 lying around. I cried because I just didn’t want to deal with the hassle. 

Finally we found the problem.  Pipes had burst underneath a trailer on our property, a trailer we didn’t even realize was supplied with water.  We fixed the break.  (Really, Dean fixed the break while I watched.) We paid the bill, and we added “survived almost a week without water” to our list of hard things we’ve done.  We experienced God’s amazing grace in many ways that week, and we saw His mercy up close and personal.  We found out a few things about ourselves, too.  For example, we can endure more than we thought we could.  We can also consume much less water than we’re used to consuming. We found out that week that tears do not mean that we despair and hauling water isn’t really all that hard or that much of a hassle.  We discovered that serving one another and serving others is worth the hassle that sometimes comes with less than ideal circumstances.

From our vantage point right now, we can see that God used that week to prepare us for the life we now live here in Honduras. Ultimately, what we gained through that experience two years ago was worth every bit of exhaustion, all the hassle, and every dollar we had to spend.  We’ve been able to trust the Lord in our circumstances, and we’ve experienced the joy that comes from doing so. Plus, we have the skills now that we need to cope and deal with some things that have been hard.  

These last two weeks here in Honduras have certainly been easier because of the experience we had one winter in Georgia. Over the course of the past 12 days, 10 Robinsons have fallen victim to a nasty stomach virus.  At the same time, the water rationing in our city has kept us without enough water almost every single day.  We can buy clean water for cooking and drinking...

and we can even have it delivered....

but there are many days when water just doesn’t flow from the cistern through our pipes. 

Without water, sick messes cannot be cleaned up, the laundry cannot be done, people cannot be bathed, dishes cannot be washed, and Tamara sometimes cries. We’re so thankful for mercy from God in the form of friends who over the past few weeks have repeatedly offered up water from their wells, washers to run a few loads of laundry, and showers to bathe the grimy ones. The generosity in our community here is amazing.

Yesterday early in the morning we heard water coming into the pipes.  We jumped out of bed, rejoicing and praising God.  Dean and I were both able to have showers, and then the pipes dried up.  As the water stopped flowing, I ran outside, looking like a crazy person I’m sure, to go look into the cistern.  I’m not sure why I was going to look into the cistern, except maybe I had hope that there would be water there and the problem wouldn’t really be that there was no water.  As I rounded the corner from the patio, I saw this:

The night before last it rained a little and my clever kids set out every container we had so that they could collect rainwater to flush toilets.   

And I heard this:

“Look, Mom, God gave us water.  We can fill up a whole bucket with these!”

I felt such an incredible rush of peace and joy at the sight of my young ones combining all the water they collected into the largest bucket. I asked Dean how he felt about the whole situation. “I think we trust the Lord more when we don’t have any other option and we can’t really control anything anyway."  It’s so true, and what an opportunity to trust Him more these weeks have been.  We are so thankful!  The inconvenience, the extra work, and the hassle of not having water every day really are worth it to be able to be here and to serve the Lord and others with our lives.  Honduras and its people are amazing, and the vision God has given us brings us hope.  

Many have asked how the kids are doing.  They're really doing great.  They're happy and adjusting well, and they deal with no water with much more grace and peace than their momma does.  

Thank you for following along, praying for us, encouraging us, and making it possible for us to be here through your generous support.


The Robinsons