Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Rwanda Moments: Eddie

Eddie is our guard/ outside worker. He is a man who has lived and worked at our home since we hired him a year ago when we moved here. He is a night-guard/handyman/gopher/playmate-for-our-kids/new-sparring-partner-for-Ben. He is one of my most favorite people in Rwanda, and today God used him to give me an illustration of the way God sometimes works.
One of the material blessings of our home is consistent hot water. Our hot water heater always seems to be working, and always seems to be “on.” (In India, we needed to flip a switch on whatever heater we wanted to use about 15 minutes before a shower)
The other day, the light on the heater was off and the water was cold. Not a life-or-death matter, but certainly one that affects the mood of the house (ok, mostly me). It seemed that the problem was in the switch that controls the heater - it can’t be flipped - it’s stuck in position, and the water heater light remains dark. Surprisingly, I happened to take a shower yesterday and it was hot, and the heater seemed to be working perfectly. By the time Ben came home for a shower, the light was off and the switch was stuck. This morning, he used the shower anyway and said the water was hot. We puzzled over what new kink Rwanda was throwing at us, and left it alone. I suggested to Ben that he ask Eddie to fix the switch, but all day I’ve been messing with it, and the switch won’t budge.
This afternoon, Eddie stopped in the house to ask me if the water was working. I said, no, the switch won’t flip. He said, try the water.... I felt like Peter being asked to fish on the other side of the boat, but I did it. And, just like Peter, I was surprised to feel hot water streaming out of the shower. Eddie didn’t fix the switch; he fixed the hot water. And, really, hot water was the problem, not a stuck switch. But, I was so fixated on that stupid stuck switch. 
I am reminded of my prayers, when I ask God to fix a problem that I see that needs addressing. Sometimes, in His goodness, He shows me that the “problem” I see isn’t the real problem, and he fixes the real issue. If I remain focused on my request, I might think He’s not answering me, but He is, with a more complete answer than I knew I needed.