Words of Worth

Water, Water Everywhere?

September 7, 2012

Not too long ago, I heard the most handsome man in the world (my husband) ask the second most handsome man in the world (my son) a question.  Note:  I had originally described my two “boys” as geeky science nerds but then I had to actually fact check the question with them and thus, the descriptions had to be changed.  Anyway, the question posed was this one:

“Son, what do you think is the most important scientific discovery ever made in the field of health?

Inwardly, I started guessing.  Inwardly and silently because I’m not drawn toward the scientific realm like some handsome men seem to be.  So I thought, “Penicillin?”  “Organ transplants?”  “Shampoo and conditioner in one bottle?”

My son offered a few ideas and then my (handsome but still geeky) husband said, “I think it’s clean water.”

Ah…clean water.  According to www.water.org millions of people lack access to clean water and across the world women spend 200 million hours EVERY DAY collecting water for personal and family use.  Until I went to India, I never gave water a lot of thought.  I just opened the cabinet, pulled out a glass and turned on the tap.  Voila!  Water.   But in India, like many countries overseas, I knew I wouldn’t be able to drink the water because my body is used to the purification system we have in America.

One of the first things we asked when we arrived to our apartment in Chennai was, “Where do we get water?”  Of course, the refrigerator inside our room was filled with bottled water because our hostess was taking care of our every need.  Throughout the week, we carried our water bottles with us everywhere and the first thing we did each morning was walk across to the dining hall and fill them up from the water dispenser that was for our personal use.

After a few days, we noticed the supply of big bottles lining the hallway to the dining area seemed to be disappearing.  Two more groups of people had arrived during the week and they, too, needed water.  But the bottles kept disappearing and none arrived to take their place.  Then we learned that the company that brings the water hadn’t made a delivery in several days.

Of course, me of many questions (and great thirst) asked, “What do we do if they don’t show up tomorrow with water?”

And Miss Linnet of great patience with my many questions (see blog post dated 8/25) said simply, “We pray”.

Then me of so very little faith and still so many questions asked, “And if after we pray and they still don’t show up, what do we do?”  At this point, I was mentally counting my rupees and American dollars.

And Miss Linnet of great faith and much love toward those whose faith is not so great at times, smiled at me and said simply, “We keep praying”.

“The effective prayer of a righteous man (woman) can accomplish much.”  James 5:16

What a deep and powerful lesson for me.  I witnessed the faith of a woman who knew without a doubt that God saw the need and would answer in His time.

I prayed for water.  Sheryl prayed for water.  The next day?  No water.

But the following day, as we trekked across to the dining hall we saw water bottles lined up like soldiers ready for use.  We were overjoyed – there was clean drinking water but more than that, there was a visible, tangible answer to prayer.

The request for water was only one answer to prayer I saw that week.  I can’t even begin to list the ways I saw God’s hand move among His people as they asked in faith, believing He would hear and provide. But the asking and praying for water moved me in a way that has forced me to ponder my own prayer life.  Do I pray, believing?  Do I even stop long enough when there’s a problem to pray or do I just run to the store and buy more water?

I hope this confession is not disappointing.  I’m learning and my prayer life is growing.  Tomorrow, I probably won’t pray one time about water.  But I have far more awareness that all my problems, big and small, need to be brought first before my loving Father. (ct)

“The great people of the earth today are the people who pray.  I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; not yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take time and pray.  They have not time.  It must be taken from something else.  This something else is important.  Very important, and pressing, but still less important and less pressing than prayer.”  S.D. Gordon

Here’s a picture of me sitting with my handsome husband.  (My handsome son is a bit camera shy.)

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