Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Frost-Proof Faucet in the Box and the Blessing of Second Chances


When I opened my computer to write this morning, the only topics on my mind were freezing temperatures and frozen water pipes. If you follow me on social media, you've probably seen my whining complaints that the pipes at the barn froze this week and I've had to haul water for the horses. 

I dread January because of the problem of the pipes. This morning, I flipped through blog posts from Januarys past and found that, four years ago, I had the same problem, only bigger. 

The pipes and automatic waterers were frozen, and they are again. I hauled water then, just as I'm doing now. In 2014, however, I had cows and chickens, as well as horses. The amount of water to be hauled was enormous.

Why haven't I solved this problem in the 28 years I've lived here? I've asked myself the same question every day since this cold snap began. What I'm ashamed to admit is that the "fix" is in the tack room of my barn, waiting to be installed.

A frost-proof hydrant is still in the box.

Four years ago, all the water lines from outside my house to the barn were frozen. I did a little research and found that a different hydrant, with an underground valve, would solve my difficulties. I bought one and Sam used it to replace the hydrant at the garden. 

There was a question about a problem with the new hydrant, so I bought another to replace it. As it turned out, the leak was due to an installation error, so I had an extra hydrant.

Putting the second hydrant in the hallway of the barn would solve my winter water problems, I decided. The hydrant went to the barn, but it was never installed, partly because I forgot about it.

When I saw the weather forecast for frigid weather, I remembered the frost-proof faucet. When the temperatures plummeted, it was too late. 

The difficulties I've faced the last few days are my own fault. They were also mostly preventable. I don't have a good solution for the automatic waterers because of their distance from a source of electricity. The frozen water faucet, however, could've been prevented.

Sam didn't worry about frozen pipes because he had a plan that worked. He wrapped the pipes with towels, stacked hay around them, then covered them with a big rug. 

I thought Sam's way made a mess in the barn and seemed iffy at best, even though it worked most of the time. This year, I used foam insulation caps over the hydrants instead. They weren't messy, but they also weren't enough. Sam knew that, but I didn't believe him. I do now. 

Before long, the temperatures will improve, the pipes will thaw, the water will flow. I'll have another second chance to have the faucet installed and solve my difficulties. 

Not every problem comes with a second chance, however. One day, Scripture tells us, Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout. We who are alive will be caught up and meet Him in the air. 

All the second chances will be over. 

It won't matter what we planned to do or whether or not we intended to follow Christ eventually. If our eternal destination is not secured when Christ returns, it will be too late. 

Let's address the most important question of all for a moment. Where do I stand with Jesus? 

Am I a disciple or merely an interested bystander? Jesus never called anyone to sit on a pew or serve on a committee. He calls us to follow. If we belong to Him, that's what we'll do. 

Today is our second chance, so let's use it well. Jesus is coming again. Live ready. 

"For the Lord Himself will descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall ever be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 5:16,17 nasb
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In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: Missed Lessons and the Failure to Change