My family and I are enduring a test of our ability to be content in all things…the kids seem to be doing just fine, but I am failing miserably!

We have been without heat or hot water since yesterday.  Pablo was home yesterday because of the snow – the restaurant didn’t open.  He headed off to work this morning without a shower (shh, don’t tell his coworkers), and here I sit, desperately needing a shower myself.  I have laundry piling up – a sink full of dishes, all waiting for some hot, or even warm water, to be washed.

I am one grumpy girl without a shower, and for 2-days, even more so.  Then, just as I sat down to write this post, with three space heaters pumping the only bit of warmth in the house, it seems half of our electrical outlets went out, turning off two of the heaters.  I finally got them reposition into the only 2 outlets still working, sat down again, and now those two outlets are out, leaving us with three space heaters unable to heat.

In other circumstances, I’d head over to the mall for the day to be warm, until they fixed the problem…but without a shower, I’m not going anywhere.

So here I sit, totally failing at being content in all circumstance.

I rationalize in my head – we have a right to have heat and hot water.  We certainly pay enough money to live here that such requests are not unreasonable, I mean we aren’t living in the ‘budget inn’ where you expect to have some sort of problem all the time.  WE HAVE RIGHTS, after all.

And this isn’t the first time we’ve had head/water problems.  Our hot water heater exploded about a month ago, leaving us stranded again, and also introducing some mushroom foliage into the corner of our eating area.  That was fun!

They replaced the heat, and finally cleaned up the carpet mess, but we went on to have 3 more heat/hot water outages over the next 2 weeks.  Every few days I’d be calling to say, ‘it happened again.’  Each time getting a different explanation for the problem.

I know somewhere there is a line between simply complaining and being a good steward of our money as we seek to uphold some sort of value for the things we buy – including an apartment to rent.  We do indeed pay a lot of money to live here.  One reason we were willing to pay so much was for the ‘supposed’ extra’s that this complex offered, the conveniences provided.  Well, when something as simple as water is a problem, my brain starts questioning why we are paying so darn much when we could live elsewhere for cheaper, and maybe not even have such issues.

As I think about my complaints, I think about the 1 century Christians whose day consisted of being fed to lions.  To Paul and the other apostles, and other Christians throughout the centuries, including this very day, who will endure physical and emotional beatings today, stoning, even death.  In the grand scheme of life, a few days without heat or hot water is a mild inconvenience.  Yet, my heart has not stopped complaining since I awoke yesterday to discover that I would not be taking a shower.

I am failing miserably at being content today.  When I do finally get that hot shower, I can tell you that I will delight in the wonders of plumbing, allowing water to come out right there in my bathroom, heated, and with controlled pressure.  As I put in that first load of laundry, I will rejoice in automatic washing machines, and the blessing of clean clothes.  As I switch on the dishwasher, and listen to the wonderful sound of dishes getting cleaned, I will sing for joy that soon those dirty dishes will be ready to be put away.

I am indeed failing miserably at being content, but I rest in Christ who was always content, even as He endured the cross.  I will rest in His perfection, knowing that I have no perfection apart from Him.  I will be reminded of the Gospel of grace that I so desperately need.