Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chapter 8: A New Roof

From Amazing Journey, Amazing Grace

Sometimes bad things happen.  Sometimes God allows us to experience difficulties to test and strengthen our faith. One of those faith-strengthening experiences happened to me one Saturday afternoon in February, 1994.  I had just stretched out on the living room sofa to relax for a minute.  Looking up I discovered the tell-tale dirty ring on the ceiling--a ring  that could mean only one thing.  My roof had sprung a leak!  In rainy Seattle, that was not a problem to ignore!  

Roof repairs, car repairs, yard and garden maintenance—all those chores had been my ex-husband’s domain.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t bothered to learn about those things, preferring to leave them all to him.  But now I was a single mom and I could no longer ignore those 'manly' tasks.  Now everything--both inside and outside the house--was my sole responsibility.  And now I had a major problem that needed immediate attention.  

What should I do?  Climb up a ladder and crawl around my roof hunting for the leak? And if I managed to find it, then what?  Go buy some tar and smear it over the offending spot?  Maybe I could spread a plastic tarp over the general area.  But how could I secure it from the wind? Wouldn't a bunch of nail holes just make more leaks?  I am not fond of heights and my roof is two stories tall.  Just thinking about going up there makes me dizzy!  So it was easy to nix both of those less-than-desirable solutons.  "Maybe I could pray for endless sunshine," I wistfully mused.   "But in rainy Seattle?  Not a chance!"

However, I remembered how God had promised to be my 'Creator-Husband.'  My protector, my provider, my comforter and my problem solver.   So solving leaky roofs was His job.  Therefore I just needed to exercise faith and trust Him for the answer, and that's exactly what I did.

The next morning I decided to go to church early and attend the adult Sunday School class before the regular church service began.  There were about 30 people in class that morning and visitors were given the chance to introduce themselves.  I am shy by nature, so I just gave my name and said I had homestay students living with me.  

After class one of the men came over and introduced himself to me.  His name was George; his wife’s name was Karen. He owned an auto-repair shop.  Then he asked me a question that seemed so out of context that it gave me goose-bumps!   George’s exact question was: “So, how is the roof on your house?”  

Now if George had asked how my car was running, I wouldn't have been so surprised.  But how likely was it for him, or anyone else for that matter, to ask a first-time visitor about the roof on their house?  The odds of that happening must be at least one in a million and that’s why I got goose-bumps.  I knew immediately this was a ‘God thing!’  So, I answered truthfully.  “My roof is leaking!” 

“It is?  Well, then let me introduce you to our Sunday School teacher, Dee-Jay.  He owns his own construction business and has put roofs on many homes,” George stated.   Obviously God was orchestrating the solution to my problem.

Dee-Jay came over the next day and while walking around the roof, he found spongy spots--sure signs of rotting wood.  My roof definitely had issues.  I was going to need a new one.  But how could I afford it?  Within the week Dee-Jay brought his crew to tear off the old roof, replace the sections of plywood that were rotting, and put on a new, 20-year roof.  He donated his time, and charged me only for the materials at his cost.

There have been many more miracles like this in my amazing journey and through them all I've learned that when we belong to God and live in obedience to Him, we can trust Him through good times and bad.  The good man does not escape all troubles--he has them too! But the Lord helps him in each and every one.  Psalms 34:19 (Living Bible) 

Another miracle happened the time I needed to buy groceries so I could feed my homestay students, but I only had $1.00 left to my name and pay day was one week away!

To be continued.