Home improvement projects are not on the top of my list of things I’d like to do. Unfortunately, they are on my wife’s list of things she wants me to do! Recently a leaky faucet was on my “Honey, do…” list. Actually, it was a faucet in our daughter’s home, the one and only faucet that provides purified, drinkable water at Refuge Ranch where we live part-time with our daughter and her family here in Mexico.
I dismantled the leaky faucet and took the broken part to town to get a matching piece. When back home I attempted to attach the new piece. After some struggling I succeeded… in breaking off the threaded tube to which I was attaching the new part! Feelings of anger, frustration, and hopelessness came over me, hopelessness because I now I had ruined the next piece in the water supply line, and I didn’t know what I could do to fix the horrible mess. If I kept this up I’d be breaking the water supply system all the way back to the water’s source, a water tank up the hill!
Out of desperation, not knowing what else to do, I took a wrench and unscrewed the broken tube. I studied the situation, then thought of a wild idea. Would my new piece I bought thread onto the threads I had just now exposed by twisting off the ruined piece? Sure enough, amazing, beyond amazing to super-tremendous; it worked! I had to break something further in order to fix it!
I am telling this story for two reasons. First of all I want everyone to know that I can fix things, once in a while, anyway. Please tell my wife! The second reason is as a reminder that often something bad can turn into something good. In fact, it seems that this is how God often operates in our lives. He closes one door, sometimes even slams it shut, often a painful process, as if we had our finger in the way when He did it; but then another door of opportunity opens. A failure we experience teaches us lessons that prove invaluable at a later date. The hurt someone else causes us is ultimately used by God to help make us into a better person and, often, to provide help to others experiencing a similar hurt.
I’m learning (yes, at my age I’m still learning; I’m a slow learner) that I should quit focusing on what’s gone wrong and focus on where God might be taking me next. I’m going to affirm that faith in the Lord will trump failure at anything! Failing forward is what, with the Lord’s help, I want to do! Excuse me as I go to get a drink of water from the faucet that no longer drips!
“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” (Psalm 126:5)