Big Bertha


As Jenny and I were walking around the garden the other day, we noticed our rainwater tank was overflowing. This is not the first time this has come to our attention and every time it does, I say to Jenny…

“I need to install another rainwater tank to catch the overflow.”

Despite the fact, I have been saying this for a few years now, Jenny has never mocked me and called me a “gunnado”. I appreciate that.

Watching the tank overflow last week, reminded me of the time when we were living in Monbulk and unlike now, depended entirely on tank water for all our needs. We never quite had enough storage and during one of the drought seasons we came very close to running out of water entirely. By that stage I was getting quite concerned.

Consequently, in an attempt to “drought proof” our home we decided to install another tank. Since this lack of water had been plaguing the family for a number of years, I was very excited about the prospect of putting “more water in the bank” and eagerly looked forward to the day our new 22,700 litre rainwater tank would arrive.

I was so excited in fact that when the day came, I took the morning off from work. I had decided to help the truck driver, who we affectionately named “the stork”, to drop the new addition to our little home off his truck at the bottom of our driveway. The plan was for me to then carefully loop a length of rope around the chubby one’s waist and gently drag her up the drive using the Hilux. At the time I was of the opinion “me and the Hilux could do anything”.






I had already given the rainwater tank a name…” Big Bertha” …after a colleague I worked with. However, that morning as I watched the stork drive up our road behind the escort vehicle which was warning oncoming traffic of the huge load following, I was tempted to rename her “Humungous Harriet” …

As the stork pulled up, I was a little disconcerted by the way he had chosen to transport BB. Instead of the more lady like pose of sitting upright on the back of his truck, he had put her on her side exposing her bottom for all the world to see. I was going to express my concerns about this, however one look at him made me realise something was wrong.

By this time the stork had alighted from his truck and was staring at our driveway and shaking his head incredulously, mumbling something about road permits and going to jail. I soon ascertained that things have changed since the delivery of Bertha’s brother “Brian”, and one needed to have permission to close the road before attempting such a

delivery.

It was a bit like a breach birth and Vic Roads liked to be warned about such complications… Therefore, despite 30 minutes of “friendly chatting” between the stork and I, he decided to return Bertha to the nest for resettlement to another family.

Needless to say, I was very disheartened as I watched Bertha drive off down the road, still bearing her bottom for the world to see…seemed a little fitting really.

Jokes aside, I felt really let down at the time and struggled to understand why I didn’t get the break I needed to solve the very pressing problem of securing water for my family. Why wasn’t God helping out here? I thought He was interested in the details of our lives… number of hairs on our heads etc… Such was my grumbling.

It wasn’t till some time later, when I had calmed down, that the obvious dawned on me…

Remember, I was planning on dragging the tank up the driveway using my Hilux. Well, our drive was very steep. So steep in fact, it was not unusual for visitors to refuse to drive their cars up it. They would prefer to park their vehicles on the street and risk heart attack walking up the driveway, rather than negotiate it from behind the wheel.

In hindsight, I am quite convinced that my “towing experiment” would have failed and could have resulted in a serious accident and I am very thankful the truck driver refused to unload the tank. It seems I had been a bit premature in my criticism of God’s attention to detail!!

What was I thinking, coming up with such a plan?

I guess that is the whole point. I wasn’t thinking. The problem of water supply had grown to such an extent in my mind and I was so keen to rid myself of it, that I had overlooked the obvious weaknesses and dangers of my solution and proceeded regardless. It didn’t help that somehow my ego had become involved as I overestimated what “me and the Hilux could do.”

I had let worry, expediency and pride dominate the decision-making process and of course the first casualty of such an approach is wisdom.

I am reminded of the words of Solomon…

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare to her… and all her paths are peace.” Proverbs 3:13-17. (ESV)

Instead of fixating on the problem, I would have been better remembering some of God’s promises such as…

“Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the people who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.”

Matthew 6: 31-34 (RSV& MSG)

Can I encourage us all this week to make a point of reading this promise every day and claiming it for our families and ourselves?

Blessings

Bruce.

P.S.

Once I got over the disappointment of losing Big Bertha, I re-established contact with the “Nylex Nest” and negotiated her replacement with two smaller tanks, “the sons of Bertha”, whom the stork was able to deliver with greater ease.

Don’t you love it when there is a happy ending? I do!!!

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