In the course of any project there are problems that need to be overcome. But sometimes a problem will arise that is particularly bad. It can’t be dealt with without notice. It will cost time and money and reputation. It is an unpleasant state of affairs and I thought when I retired that that sort of thing was pretty much behind me.
So I’m nearing the end of a small retirement project and one of the last things to do is tile the shower stall. What is simple in your mind is not so simple doing it with your hands. Reality presents things that had not been imagined.
All the prep work done, tile going up on the wall, and about half way up there is a crack in the mortar I spread on the wall, to level the surface the tile will lay on. And I stand there looking at it trying to imagine what else it could be besides a crack. No it was a crack and in my mind’s eye I could envision spreading adhesive over the top of it, setting the tile and at some time in the future the area where the crack was, would peel away from the backing and my tile would pull away from the wall.
Go ahead and cover it up? Maybe it will be alright. Pull down the tile already installed? Rework the wall board underneath; tiles useless, time spent and gone, more expense.
It’s not a sinking feeling anymore. It’s just, well I guess it’s just time to stop. Roll up the cords. Clean the tools, lock up the shed and the door to the house and stroll on home.
“My soul, why are you so downcast?
Why are you groaning inside me? Psalm 42:6(5) CJB.
Are things really so bad? Other people have real problems. Why am I so unhappy right now?
The next morning the sun is up and the day is beautifully bright and cool. I go into the house and look at the wall with tile half way up and the part above where the crack was and I don’t see it. Where did it go? Halleluyah! Was I just not seeing right last night? Maybe I can keep right on going... No… I did see it. Took a wet sponge and wiped across the mortar and that crack jumped right out at me.
But then, things come to mind. How deep is it? How solidly adhered to the wall board is the mortar either side of it. Take a pointed tool and dig down into the crack opening making a little trench looking line wherever the crack was, going back to where the mortar is solidly glued to the wall. And I see that the only weak spot was directly under the crack. The overall layer of mortar on either side was solid.
Filled my little trench in and tiled up the rest of the way to the ceiling. Oh happy day!
Things happen though. Sometimes situations occur in what we are doing or in what we are learning that don’t immediately just turn into happy moments but must be worked through more laboriously and without a spirit of happiness and at times, cost. The lesson the Father reconfirmed in me, because He has lead me through this sort of thing before, is that at first glance we don’t need to imagine the worse, throw everything we have done or learned out because of a flaw perceived or actual. We can stop, set aside the initial impression and change our focus for a bit. Then we can return and with a fresh and quiet and open mind start going over things again. There is a problem. And it does require attention, maybe change, but extra work all the same. Still the desire is to get things right, no? So surrender to the truth of the matter and accept what needs to be done and then… do it.
“My God when I feel so downcast,
I remind myself of You… Psalm 42:7(6) CJB.
and that’s what gets me through.
Father, You are with us to the end.
Help us to remember that and depend on it.
In the midst of testing, however great or small, may we see it as being at the point when growth can happen. And may we run to it.
May we in those times revisit what we have done, what we have learned and what there is yet to learn and do what needs to be done.
Glory be to You!
Thank You Father for the love You lavish on us.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.