Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lord, Start This Thing!

On the 13th of September, just a couple of weeks ago, Chicagoland gets the rain of all rains for this area. Of course that means the rain of all rains since they started recording rainfalls. There were no weathermen measuring such things in Noah's day. We have to take by faith that that was the real record-setter. But this one feels like a close second. No scary thunder and lightning. No heavy threatening winds. Just drop after drop of ceaseless moisture. An incredible day.

Our house holds up pretty well. The day after the rain, I notice that people on our street are literally emptying their basements and setting it all out for the garbage. We lose only a couple of area rugs.

I first notice we have a problem when I 'm in the washroom. From somewhere across the basement there is a drip-drip-drip . Then that sinking feeling. Oh no. We've sprung a leak. Water is seeping in in small amounts and slowly directing itself to a drain made for that purpose. Not bad. We can live with that.

It occurs to me that I ought to check the sump pump in our crawl space. I open the door, and there in all its glory is most of Lake Michigan, with the rest on the way. Or so it feels to me. I don my flood control outfit and crawl over to where I can take a look. The pump is dead. And buried. In water. I am definitely going to have to change socks later.

I unplug the pump and begin a wrestling match with it. I want to get it out of there so I can take it to the store and replace it. But nothing doing. The ejection pipe to which it is attached is situated in such a way that I can't move it out of its final resting place.

Meanwhile my wife is on the phone calling contractors, who are telling me what needs to be done, but unable to come help because they're suffering a deluge of a different kind: phone calls for help. After more struggling, and hearing the price quotes on a new pump, I finally take it to the Lord.

"Lord, start this thing." Not even an exclamation mark. Just your basic cry motivated from pure exhausted desperation.

And God really does it. I am motionless, I've given up. I stop. I pray. And within a few seconds, I hear something. Oh me of little faith calls out to the wife, "Did you turn the furnace on?"

She hasn't. It's the pump. I tell her it's running. She cries. I sit down and watch the most beautiful hole in all of Chicago slowly empty itself of gallon after gallon of water.

On and on it goes, until it gets to the bottom. Then that sound Junior gets when his straw reaches the end of the glass and there just isn't any more. Now what do I do?

Hey! Why not the same thing? I start to pray for it to shut off, but that doesn't happen. Even if it would, I'd have to be praying for the initial miracle to repeat itself and so on and on. It is time for me actually to learn something.

I see the switch laying out on the dry ground. Through some playing with it, and a few other purely human activities, I finally put this once-dead pump into full gear. It's been running fine ever since.

Now this is the day that I am to be carefully preparing for my first Voice Of The Martyrs presentation on Sunday. Also on Sunday I am to be starting the book of Job with my Korean students. I've planned a calm easy afternoon shut away by myself, praying, listening, reading... Instead Niagara Falls and a wrestling match. About four and a half hours of trauma.

Plenty to learn on a day like that. God still works miracles when needed. God still refuses miracles when not needed. God "gives to each day what he deems best." And the best preparation for the ministry is life itself.

Look for Bob Faulkner's home page on There you will find a combination of love for the Scriptures and a desire for North Korean believers to have their needs met. There are nearly 300 blogs , ovber 200 Bible teaching MP3's, lists of resources, NK picture albums, and ways to respond to the overwhelming need in North Korea. Let's love Chosun together! Contact me any time at

And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. Would love to fellowship with believers who respond .

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