God Sighting #1: The Water Heater

What is a “God-sighting?”

I have lived long enough to know my faith is durable, but it wavers.  There are times of strong surety and dark times of doubt and divine silence.  This was often true in the Bible too.  One of the most common word pairs in Deuteronomy (one of my favorite books in the Bible) is “remember” and its opposite “forget.”

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. (Deut. 8:2)

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. (Deut. 4:9)

Moses tells this second generation of Israelites, the children of slaves, that as they enter the Promised Land to do all they can to see and remember what God has done and is doing around them.  It is no wonder then they gathered stones from the dry Jordan River bed and made a monument on the Canaan-side of the Jordan commemorating the miraculous work of God that fulfilled the precious promise of land.  Specifically, they did this so as not to forget.

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:4-7)

An excellent spiritual practice is to name, claim and memorialize the work of God that we see around us.  I know this, but the sloppiness and busyness of life makes it so easy to not do what it takes to remember and, thus, I forget.  Once again, this blog can help.  As they occur, whether frequently or separated by long periods of silence, whether found in welcomed acts of deliverance and blessing or even in the tough times of loss and regret, I plan to post those moves of God I do not wish to forget.

You may think this hokey.  Subjective and unprovable.  Maybe so.  Faith tends to be that way.  To some degree, this kind of evidence for God is in the eye of the beholder.  Be that as it may.  It feeds and sustains my faith.

God Sighting #1: The Water Heater

Yesterday, we returned home from a vacation to no hot water in the house.  Odd, I thought.  I have an electric water heater so it’s not the pilot light.  The breaker wasn’t tripped.  The water heater is only 6 months old.  What gives?  A call to the plumbers that installed the water heater and a quick visit hours later indicated that all of the wires inside the water heater had burned up at some point recently.  Freaked out by the prospect of a house fire to follow the tree-in-house drama of the past summer, I welcomed the news that the water heater was still under warranty.  One problem: the attic stairs up to the heater would have to be removed to gain access to the attic.  Poor guys, I think they spent more time removing and replacing the stairs than on the water heater.  The end of the work day on a Friday was fast approaching, so they finished the heater and promised to return today to finish reinstalling the trim around the stairs that had been damaged a bit in the removal and to do a coat of paint on my hallway ceiling.  Still, there was enough time to remove several hundred dollars from me for labor not covered by the warranty.

Yep, you guessed it.  I got a call today from the plumbers saying they don’t really do trim and painting . . . but the owner of the company got to thinking that maybe he should not have charged me anything anyway seeing how soon after the original install this had been.  So if I was willing to do the trim and paint myself, they would be willing to rip up my check.  Without a moment’s delay, I told them I thought I could manage that!

God is much more concerned about my heart than my pocketbook.  But today he reminded me that he can take care of both.