This blogpost is about God’s faithfulness and love and how important those have been to me this particular week.

We recently returned from a wonderful, long-planned trip to Europe. We had an amazing time. But we arrived home to find a plumbing leak with potential mold in the walls, and a furnace thermostat that didn’t work. This was our third plumbing leak in two and a half years and the house isn’t even 20 years old. After being home about 24 hours, the storm that affected so much of Western Washington hit and the power went out for the next 18 hours. We got the immediate leak fixed, and the thermostat replaced, but have determined that we need to replace the piping in the whole house and the first bid was really a lot of money. In the middle of all of this, with jet lag on top, I said to Janet, “I feel just defeated by this house.” I joked that I might even become a proponent of outdoor plumbing. That was the low point.

Somewhere in all this mess, I added to my list of prayers our plumbing, thermostats, and house and just asked for God to help us find a way through. And, of course, God is answering those prayers and doing so through community.

In the most difficult times of our lives, God has loved us through community. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other.” We have been lifted up this week. We were blessed to have some longtime friends over to dinner and to stay overnight. These are really good people. They were so encouraging. We love them deeply. They kept saying this is a beautiful house and it is worth the money to keep it in good shape. They reminded us that the house is a gift from God and that as we continue to use it for God’s purposes, God will help us deal with the challenges. They were right of course.

Another gift of community has been the small group I have been in for about the last six months. That new and growing friendship has been a blessing. And I feel like the prophet Habakkuk has been part of our group. It must be God’s message for me this year because I think I have read Habakkuk three times already and my friend recently chose it for our group’s devotions. Habakkuk is awesome. As you may remember, the prophet is living through some very tough times (much worse than bad plumbing) and asking why God isn’t doing something. Yet, Habakkuk ends by praising God in the midst of the trouble. Here is my paraphrase of the closing verses of Habakkuk.

Though the plumbing pipes are leaking,
And the walls are full of mold;
Though the thermostat is broken,
And the basement’s getting cold;
Though the power’s been off for hours,
And the milk is getting sour,

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will exult in the God of my salvation.”

Habakkuk is part of my community. God, through community, is pulling us through.

Again and again in my life I’ve had to learn to trust in the Lord. I would guess that you might struggle occasionally in the same way. There is a well-known verse in Proverbs 3:5 that says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I think that is a never-ending life lesson for me. I recently said to Janet, that I have learned that whenever I feel worried about finances, the best thing has always been to give some more money away to God’s work. And so we discussed a couple places where we are going to make some extra donations, just to put into practice our trust that God will take care of this.

God is faithful. God loves us in many ways, especially through community. God has encouraged us, taught us, and spoken to us through community. The community of friends, the community of the prophets, and the community of God’s promises. He will make your paths straight, He will give you His peace, and He might even fix the plumbing. Amen!

God bless,