In the thumb of Michigan, we had quite a cold snap this winter. The thermometer plummeted to -30 degrees Fahrenheit! In the basement of our home we are finishing, one of the sump pump pipes burst and sprayed water all over. When we were able to go in after the weather became a balmy 0 degrees, we had a huge mound of ice. My husband had been working to get our stairs installed which would make the electrical work a lot easier to do. Tools and power cords were caught up in the ice mess, covering the area where the steps were to be built. So he began chipping away at the ice.
I had no idea how bad it really was until I went to check on the sump pump while he was gone on a business trip. The sight was horrifying! But, wouldn’t you know, the sump pump alarm was ringing. He just left that morning and everything was fine then. So I called the plumber. When he came, his first thought was to melt the ice. In a couple of hours we could have the ice out. I texted my hubby about the verdict. He said, “NO! There are electric cords and other things in it. Someone could get electrocuted and it could cost a few thousand dollars in damage.” He talked the plumber through the double pump set up. A new switch was installed and it was good as new. The verdict on the ice was to chisel away and allow a slow thaw in the process. UGH! Needless to say, it has taken some time. When I helped him chip away to finish clearing it, I complained, “Why does life have to be so darn difficult? Life has never been easy for either of us. Why can’t we just get the house done?" I whined.
His reply, “Honey, we have a house and it will be nice when it is finished. We have been blessed.” I have to say that I wasn’t feeling the blessing; I was feeling the pain. As we saw the floor clearing while moving huge chunks out to the yard to thaw out, I began asking God to show me what in the world He wanted me to see out of this mess. I got my reply.
1. Nothing in life worthwhile is easy. Chipping away at the ice is tough work. But we knew we had do to it to prevent expensive damage and a hazard that could harm someone. Most people’s thoughts are to melt the ice, but where is the water to go if we melt it to fast? What if there is a problem with one of the cords? What would happen if water got into our furnace? As it was, we could safely chip it clear of the ice. Don't give up. Galatians 6:9
In life, we want the quick and easy route. There are people who do seem to be born with a silver spoon in their mouths. The ones who take the easy way, when troubles come don’t do well. Jesus said that the easy road is full of death and destruction, but the one less travelled leads to life everlasting. Matthew 7:13-14
2. When life issues get tough, it’s better with someone alongside you. Not only is chipping difficult, so is scooping it up to haul it outside. By working together, not only did the job get done quicker, we could encourage each other, too. We are to share burdens together. Galatians 6:2
3. You are likely to find treasure if you are willing to work for it. As we carefully chipped ice, we found electric cords, power tools, and other important things that would have to be tossed in the trash if we had done the quick thaw method. It took work to find them. Thankfully, they are working fine! There is treasure when we work for it. Matthew 13:44-46
4. Do things right. We could have used a torch, a jack hammer, or something that would do damage or wouldn’t work at all. When it was time to finish cleaning up so the basement could dry, we were going to get a push broom and the large dust pan to clean up ice bits and water. Instead, God brought a floor squeegee to our attention. Clean up was a breeze!. Doing things right pays off.
5. When you feel like you can’t keep going, God sends something that encourages you to keep going anyway. When we were almost done chipping, I looked up to see a butterfly with it’s wings spread to show beautiful orange and red on it’s black wings. It was sitting on the edge of a piece of ice at the side of the heating system. It reminded me of the rainbow directly over our neighbor’s house when he was discouraged about the cancer he was facing. God encourages us and strengthens us when we need it. He even picks us up and carries us, too. Isaiah 40:29-31
6. When all is said and done, you will be a stronger person for it. After our aches and pains from a long day of chipping away and ice hauling, we will have built some muscle with some endurance. CrossFit people, have I got a workout program for you! It is really by His great power and strength we are able to do all that we do. Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 4:7
May God bless you abundantly this Easter and the rest of the year!
Note: The butterfly picture at the top is what the butterfly looked like with his wings opened, but he was shy for his picture! Red Admiral Butterfly picture from www.animalspot.net