It was the stuff of nightmares. Sixteen people were in the kitchen milling about, laughing and enjoying life. Dinner was just about ready and friends were starting to pick up their plates off of the table in the dining room. I needed something so I turned to go into the mudroom. That’s when I saw it.
Water. Water everywhere. It had covered the mud room floor and was heading to the kitchen. I splashed across the room to find the source of the fast flowing Duncan Rio. It was the toilet. Bits of toilet paper and I don’t want to even think of what else was free flowing across the house. It wouldn’t stop. I screamed for help.
As Cris came running in, he caught my eye and said, “I don’t care how much it costs. We have to do it NOW!”
Let me rewind the story a bit. We live in an older house on a giant property. It is such a blessing. The yard is an acre of lush green intersecting with a 70 year old pecan orchard so we have fabulous trees—a rarity in our part of the country. Along with an older house comes older sewer pipes. We’ve known for some time they needed to be replaced. We’ve broached the subject with various plumbers and often their first comment was something along the lines of needing to rob a bank to make the job happen. We are “special” with the longest residential line most had ever seen with bonus Ys and the need to tunnel under a building. One company kept putting off giving us a us a bid because, “the cost is so high they will never pay it.”
Isn’t that so true for life? We have issues—past pains, hurts, spiritual wounds, etc—that we bury and learn to live with because the cost of dealing with them seems so overwhelming.
Proverbs 17:22 reminds us that
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
For the last few years we had been making “adjustments” around our plumbing issues. We stopped showering in one bath, we had to do a little toilet trick in another and had to do “slow drain” techniques in a third bath. We learned to live with the “pain” because the cost of addressing it seemed too high.
Until it wasn’t.
The healing process wasn’t fun. Giant trenches crossed the yard. Landscaping was destroyed. Concrete paths were crumbled and lawn adornments were strewn about willy nilly. Then there was the dirt. Dirt. Dirt. Dirt. Some days I wanted to cry and go back to the wonky plumbing, but I knew what was promised.
“But I will restore you to health; heal your wounds” declares the Lord. Prov 17:22
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29
Healing wounds can be messy, painful and seem overwhelming. However, the freedom felt when we invite the ultimate physician to come in and apply his Love to the wound is priceless.
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness, by His wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24
His wounding heals our woundings. Profound.
So, how does that happen? It starts with a simple decision that the pain is drying you to the bones and the long term joy of a cheerful heart outweighs the temporal cost of the healing pain.
Then you have to expose the mess.
Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:6
The fun thing in this step is you might find other things. I figured if our yard was destroyed, we might as well just do it all. A new well, new irrigation, a new HVAC…
Until I drank my first glass of water from our well, walked down the hall knowing I could use ANY bath in the house and then enjoyed the beautifully frigid bedroom, I didn’t realize just how dried up our bones had become from making so many accommodations for the wonkiness of our plumbing.
I imagined the Lord just sitting there shaking His head and saying, “if you think this is good, my child, can you imagine what it will be like when you do the same thing with that internal wound you have been allowing to fester? The pain of the healing is NEVER greater than the life of freedom I have for you. You just need to decide to do it and ask Me. I’m here waiting.”
Still need to think? Check this out. You don’t have to do this alone. Churches have great community to hold your hand through this process. You just have to reach out. I’m ready. What about you?
Deanna is a lover of all things created by God but especially mountains, her family and golden retriever puppies. Wife, mom, business owner and small group leader, she finds the greatest joy in the life stories of the people of the Bible and the author of each one of them–God.