A couple months ago our area incurred a wickedly cold spell with wind chills at -35 degrees and 13 inches of snow. Our daughter is in college living in a rental house. The furnace couldn’t keep up and the pipe in the upstairs bathroom apparently froze.
A couple nights later our daughter calls me at 12:15 a.m. in a panic saying: “Mom, our house is flooding. The pipe upstairs burst. There is water everywhere. Water is spilling from the ceiling in my room near my closet. What do I do?” I told her to get everything up off the floor in her room and put it on her bed, unplug the electric heater, refrigerator and TV.
My husband told her to shut off the valve to the water but they didn’t know which one to do and the landlord wouldn’t answer the phone. The house is next to the campus police station and the girls have the direct number in their phone in case of an emergency. So they called the police station and the officer came over and helped them shut off the valve.
She is saying things on the phone like: “ the carpet is soaked.” “Now it’s going into Molly’s room”. “I’ve got to go and get the stuff out of the closet because the ceiling looks like it’s about to fall in”. We were prepared to get in the car and drive through the treacherous weather to go there and help clean up the horrible mess all the time thinking the ceiling could fall on the girls as they were taking things out of the closet allowing bucketfuls of water to crash down on their little heads.
Roger and I had conjured up in our mind that we would have to go up there and move her into a hotel for a few weeks, move all her stuff out for the house to be redone over spring break and perhaps fight with the landlord to get it all done right.
She called back and said the officer said the ceiling tile should dry on its own. I asked where she was sleeping and she said, “in my bed”. I asked where all her stuff was and she said “on the floor”. So I continued to ask questions about the carpet being soaked and water throughout the house and found that perhaps it wasn’t as bad as we had understood in the beginning.
When we got through all of the REAL details, they realized that a pipe had not burst. That a drain was clogged and the shower had not drained properly and that water had spilled out over the shower and onto the floor and ran down through the floor into the ceiling below causing water to spill into her room. Apparently there was not water all over the house and the carpet was only wet in a small spot and the ceiling tile could dry out on its own.
The next day the landlord had a very kind handyman there first thing in the morning. He fixed the furnace, found that the drain was just clogged, put more insulation in her ceiling and fixed the ceiling tile. He soaked up the little bit of water in the carpet and put the heater blowing on it to finish drying it assuring her it would be fine.
After thinking about this whole scenario, it made me realize how many times I do this. I look at the problem and create scenarios of how bad it is and how bad it’s going to be and mulling over the “what if’s” and start my plan of attack and doing things on my own. I create the worst case scenario planning to “move out into a hotel for several weeks until the house can be redone over spring break” when in reality it’s just a clogged drain and little leak that HE can fix.
2 Corinthians 4:18 says “so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us that we are not to be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present our requests to God. And when we do that, the peace of God, which is way beyond our understanding will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
It is important that we remember that when our pipes burst, we shouldn’t look into the “what if’s” of life but rather turn it all over to God and let him fix the pipes.