Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9 (NKJV)
These past few days I’ve been reflecting on God’s faithfulness at church camp. As I spend my TEA CUPP time with Jesus each day, He reminds me how He is always faithful. We have seen how God is faithful in floods, God is faithful in fires, God is faithful in fiascoes, and today I share with you how God is faithful in freezes. Yes, forever God is faithful.
It was Christmas day at our first camp in Iowa. For some reason towards the end of the day my husband Kent decided to run up the hill from our house to the camp office. And for some reason he thought to open the door between the office and the lodge where the summer staff slept during the summer. When he opened that door he heard the sound of rain, water gushing from the ceilings and showering upon all the bunk beds. But the roof was solid and it wasn’t raining outside. It turned out the building had hot water heat which ran through the ceilings. Somehow the pipes had frozen and burst, causing the rain shower on the night of Christmas. Kent shut off the water, but now there was no way to heat the building while waiting for repairs. We needed heat so more pipes wouldn’t burst. Kent and a plumber spent the next few days getting it all fixed, while avoiding the ice skating rink on the floor. And we wondered, what was that all about, God? Why on Christmas? Why at all? But God doesn’t explain these things, He just stays beside us and helps us through it and shows us that He is faithful.
Another freeze happened just a year ago at our camp here in the mountains of Montana. We had a wonderful group of quilting ladies here for an early October retreat. Half of the buildings in camp were shut down for the winter, but the other half were still open. The ladies were staying in two of those lodges and eating at the dining hall. When it started to snow we worried about the ladies arriving safely, but that wasn’t a problem. Their four-wheel drive vehicles brought them here just fine. The problem was the temperatures plummeted to three degrees, colder than most Januaries! The pipes in the lodges froze, so the ladies had to walk to another building for showers and toilets. The dish room with its thin glass was a chilly place for us kitchen workers, but at least the machine carried on. Somehow we made it through the weekend, while praying for warmer weather. Finally the pipes thawed enough for Kent to shut off the water and blow out the pipes for winter. Some pipes were so full of holes, they drained themselves. In the spring all the pipes needed to be fixed. And God was faithful, sending volunteers (Thank you Gary & Rob!) who knew plumbing well and helped Kent to fix all those leaky pipes.
Another winter we had a freeze on the dirt road leading to camp. The mountain streams often freeze over the road, leaving huge ice puddles. On a warmer day, the puddles start to thaw, trapping unsuspecting vehicles. One time that vehicle was ours. My husband was away at a meeting. I was driving our children to town for their regular day of piano lessons and Awana. On the way we got stuck in this ice puddle, just a mile from home. I walked back home to call the tow truck and hiked back down to the kids again. It took over an hour for the tow truck to arrive and then he also got stuck. After much fuming and fussing, the truck driver got himself and us pulled out of the ice. We made it to town, but were late for our piano lessons. Coming home late that night, just the kids and I, I wondered what we should do with the ice puddle. I decided we should park the car before the ice and then walk the last mile to camp. Some loggers on the road had mentioned they had seen a pack of wolves recently, so I was a bit worried. I prayed and we walked and we laughed as we carried our groceries, thinking we’d just throw the wolves one of our frozen pizzas if they came by. But I thought what a crazy life we have, where my young first grade son trudges home through the snow at 10 p.m., surrounded by mountains and shining stars as he listens for the sound of wolves. Yes, God is faithful in freezes.
Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the great mountains;
Your judgments are a great deep;
O LORD, You preserve man and beast. Psalm 36:5-6 (NKJV)