Recently my whole family got sick. Really sick. It all started the Tuesday my daughter fell out of a wagon and broke her collarbone. When we got home from the hospital, my son was feeling awful. We soon discovered that he had the flu. By the time I got back from taking my daughter to the surgeon the next afternoon, I was down with the flu, too.
Only mommies don’t really get time off for the flu. With my son running a fever and my daughter in agonizing pain, I was certainly no exception to that rule. I was in full mommy swing. Luckily, my husband was able to take off work and help me around the house, stay with our son while I was at the doctor with our daughter, and go to the store to get supplies: tissues, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, toilet paper, cough medicine, cold medicine, juice, bread… you name it! When you’re sick, it seems like you run out of everything.
To say the least, things were going rough. By the time Wednesday was over and Thursday rolled around, we were steeped in exhaustion and insanity. And then, around mid-morning on Thursday, the washing machine exploded. As I wrung cold water from a washcloth and applied it to my son’s head and tried desperately in between turns to help my daughter find some modicum of comfort, my husband was busy trying to get us caught up on the domestic side of things. He put in a load of laundry to wash and then went to the bathroom. By the time he had finished, the laundry room was overflowing with suds and the kitchen floor was four inches deep in water.
Having no clue about the mess in the other room, I heard my husband struggling and went to see what was wrong. Amidst the flood, he was leaned over the back of the washer trying to get it unplugged. Even with the machine off, the water wouldn’t stop pouring out. When I tried to help turn off the water at the faucet on the wall, the wall faucets exploded, too, and water shot all over the walls and me.
To say we were in a state of pandemonium may have been an understatement: our daughter crying in pain; our son coughing up a storm and battling a raging fever; my husband banging his head on the corner of the open breaker box door and struggling to find a way to stopper the never-ending geyser flooding our home; me covered in water and fighting back tears of frustration as I battled flu, fever, and no sleep for over 48 hours. The odds were seemingly insurmountable as spiritual warfare pummeled us.
We finally got the water cut off, but then we had to empty the washer, get it outside, and clean up the inches of water in the floor, as well as a year’s worth of sopping wet clutter that had accumulated since the last time we’d cleaned out the laundry room. When we finally got to a reasonable stopping place, my husband had to take my son to the doctor to be sure that we were only battling the flu.
Tired and hungry, I decided to make my daughter some macaroni in hopes that she’d feel like eating something she loved. I put water in the pot, put the pot on the stove, and turned on the stove. Then I went into the living room to get her into a comfortable sitting position before putting in the pasta. When I returned, the water still wasn’t boiling. I worked a few minutes more trying to clean up from the washing machine explosion as I waited, but the water in the pot still didn’t boil.
I realized then that the stove wasn’t even hot. I turned on the oven, but nothing happened. I opened it: no light. I turned every knob; I flicked every switch. I thought the stove had finally died, too.
I tried to think of what to do or what might have happened. Maybe some fluke had blown out both the stove and the washing machine all at once? Maybe there was some sort of water damage? My exhausted brain just couldn’t wrap itself around what had happened. I decided to try other things to see if they worked.
I went to the sink; the water worked. The outlet on the counter worked. But the dishwasher didn’t. And neither did the refrigerator. I went to the laundry room. The dryer wouldn’t work.
I had no clue what to do. I didn’t know if the whole house had suddenly been sucked into some “let’s destroy every major appliance” black hole or the Twilight Zone.
I hurried over to the breaker box. I prayed. My hands shook as I flipped breakers. I tried outlets, opened doors, and flicked switches.
I went back to the breaker box and tried again. Desperately, I prayed. I pleaded with God to help me. He knew how weak I was, and I begged. I checked each circuit to be sure it was on. I went back to the kitchen, and, believe it or not, everything worked.
I stood there before that ancient stove and tears ran down my cheeks at the red glow of the back burner as it began to heat up.
And then I started to laugh.
I stood there and laughed out loud. A big, bulging, boisterous laugh. I couldn’t help it. What had been so close to utter despair and hopelessness had been turned around in a single moment. The spiritual warfare that had been so close to conquering me that afternoon was so clear to me that I couldn’t help but laugh. God had turned the power back on… in the house and in me.
I know many people will scoff at the fact that I consider a horrible chain of events to be spiritual warfare, but that’s exactly what it was. I have no doubt. Satan had it out for us, and he still does. He has it out for anyone who turns to God and trusts in Him as Lord and Savior. Every single sinner saved by grace is a target, but, believe it or not, so is every single person on this planet who has the slightest chance of turning their life over to the Lord. Satan wants to keep us all down, so he wages war against us to keep us weak, hopeless, and in despair.
Amazingly enough, though, those moments of sheer despair can be our greatest victories. When we turn to God and turn it over to Him, He gets to show us just what He’s made of. And, man, is there a lot for us to see!
That laughter didn’t end the war. Things in our home continued on a rocky course. My daughter came down with the flu next, a horrible experience as every cough jarred her freshly broken bone whose severed halves were still sitting nearly two inches apart in her chest. My husband come down with it, too. He was out of sick days, so he received no pay for the week that the doctor put him out. It took us over 10 days each to get any relief, with my daughter’s fever and mine lasting for nine days each. My daughter fell going up the stairs and landed on her chest, sending us back to the surgeon. We didn’t get to start the seeds for our garden as we’d planned. Our grass got taller than our Cocker Basset. I could go on and on.
But, with every single battle the devil waged, God kept us afloat. My brother and sister-in-law brought us towels, washcloths, and hand towels when we ran out because we didn’t have a way to wash the ones we had. We got back our tax return and were able to buy a new washer. We were able to cut the sleeves out of old T-shirts for our daughter to get in and out of since she couldn’t raise her arms. My in-laws brought us a dinner, paper plates, disposable utensils, and some goodies. My mom brought us more hand towels, a wipe warmer and wipes for when my daughter couldn’t bear the water pressure but couldn’t get in and out of the bathtub yet, and a thing of paper towels so needed that they brought my husband to tears since he’d been standing by the door wondering how on Earth he was going to make it to the store to get us more.
Time and time and time again, God won out. He strengthened us. He encouraged us. He carried us. Like with Noah in the flood, the Lord lifted us above the waters that seemed to overwhelm our world and sheltered us in the tempest-tossed seas of our life. And when the world seemed to tilt, He never failed to give us a rainbow of hope to remind us that God keeps His promises. Just as He promised Joshua, God tells us in His Word that He is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1: 9). And, believe me, He is.
Whatever spiritual warfare is being waged against you, whatever battle you’re facing, God will never leave you. He will never forsake you. If there is someone whose Word you can trust, it is God. Don’t give up. Don’t turn away. Turn to Him. He’s there waiting for you with open arms waiting to life you above the flood.
Shared on the Family Friday Link-Up Party over at This Chaotic Bliss: http://thischaoticbliss.com/family-friday-link-party-23/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=name_theres_a_new_post_on_the_blog&utm_term=2017-04-28