On Monday, November 6, of last year…..yes, 2017 is – as of today – LAST year!! Anyway, on that day last year our washing machine loudly died. I mean, the noises coming from the bathroom/laundry room were downright scary. I remember that date because two days later, November 8, was Aaron’s birthday. Gary and I met at Lowe’s after he got off work on Tuesday night, where we found our dream machine, got it ordered, and were told that delivery would be on Thursday.
Thursday was the day we were having two of Aaron’s favorite friends over for a birthday supper, so I knew I would be home most of the day as I got things ready. It was also the day that Aaron woke up in a very wet bed, so it became the day of a huge mound of wet bedding piled near our dead washing machine, waiting on our brand new dream machine. And friends coming for dinner.
So I prayed as I made apple pie….Aaron’s birthday “cake” of choice. I asked God to please let the dream machine come sooner than the possible delivery time given to us, which was between 12:00 and 4:00, and usually means it might be there by 6:00 – with friends coming for supper and with Aaron very picky about his bedding and covers being JUST right. It was shortly after 11:00 when I asked God for this kindness…not really near the expected delivery time. But don’t you know, that within two minutes my phone rang and it was the delivery guys asking if it would be ok to come early!
I almost said, “Amen!! You come right on over!” I didn’t because I wanted my dream machine delivered and was afraid I would scare them away, but I did share with them God’s sweet provision and answer to prayer as they installed my dream machine. One man smiled as he worked and the other said, “God is still on His throne!” I did say “Amen!” to that!
I’ve loved that new washing machine. The tub is so large that I have to stand on my tiptoes to reach the bottom of it, but does it ever hold big loads, like bedding! And often I think back to that sweet answer to prayer on my very busy day….how God provided the dream machine in the first place, and then gave it to me early when I asked. I love those “simple” and kind answers to prayer.
So fast forward to December 22, the Friday before Christmas, when Aaron woke up in an even wetter bed than the one of the month before. Seizure? I didn’t hear one. More likely just too much drinking water before bed. Regardless, everything needed washing on the VERY busy day of cleaning and cooking before the kids came in and our Christmas began. Oh well, nothing to do but DO what needed doing…and I had my wonderful new dream machine, remember?
I was thankful for that extra large tub as I loaded Aaron’s wonderful waterproof mattress pad and sheets into it, and then went about my other work for the day. But when I went back to check on that first load, I found it to be dripping wet. “Oh dear,” I thought. “What could be causing that?” I had washed heavy loads before with no problem. I set the load on a rinse and spin cycle, but still had the same dismal results when I checked it later. Setting it again, I watched closely and found that water wasn’t entering the tub, and the tub wasn’t spinning. Nothing in the manual helped and nothing I did worked, so I was stuck with all of Aaron’s bedding in another huge pile, and very wet bedding in my dream machine.
Gary worked and worked on that machine when he came home, to no avail. I did manage to get the very wet items dried in our dryer, but still had piles of laundry at the end of the day. Gary called Lowe’s and a repairman was scheduled, but not until Wednesday…which this year was our Christmas Eve.
Bless his heart, Gary insisted on taking all the laundry to the laundromat on Saturday morning. Aaron helped him carry the bags out to his truck, and before too long Gary was back with lots of wet laundry to be dried.
And when the repairman came on Wednesday, he found the problem but told us he wouldn’t be able to come back with the needed part until January 2nd.
So we have lots and lots of laundry sorted and piled on now empty beds since all the kids have come and gone after Christmas. Of course, that means extra bedding and extra towels waiting to be washed in my dream machine that has turned into a little of a nightmare, honestly.
I went from happily sharing this evident answer to prayer to scratching my head at the failure of it. Not the failure of God, mind you, but the failure surrounding this provision…my dream machine!
But through this really simple annoyance, God has spoken to my heart. How many times He has clearly answered my prayers, only to also lead me to…at times…a hard place where I must trust Him. It’s so easy to praise Him for clear answers, but sometimes difficult to trust His sovereignty when the answers aren’t a bed of roses.
Today’s answers to prayers don’t guarantee a carefree tomorrow.
But always…ALWAYS…God DOES answer. His answer may contain trials, but He also ALWAYS has a reason for those trials.
Gary and I were married over five years before Aaron was born. I wondered if I would ever have a baby. That positive pregnancy test was one of the happiest days of my life! We thanked God over and over!!
So fast forward to now, 33 years later. When I held baby Aaron, I never dreamed of seizures and autism and behaviors and our son still with us at his age. And like my broken dream machine, our dreams for Aaron have certainly taken a different turn. Aaron isn’t broken. He is just the way that God designed him to be. But my dreams were broken. Our amazing answer to prayer has also carried with it a huge element of grief and testing.
Yet I know…I KNOW…that God is in control. With His blessing of Aaron in our lives has also come some brokenness. Our life is on a far different path than we had ever envisioned. But on that path has also come tremendous cause for trust in God…which teaches us patience…waiting…and then peace. God’s sweet peace amid the piles of pain and mess that sometimes surround our days.
I shouldn’t be focusing on the ANSWER to my prayers, but on the God behind that answer.
And in that focus…in God alone…I can rest and I can trust.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:1,10)
What better way to start the New Year than this!