Thursday, February 23, 2017

What Do Sewage and Sin Have in Common?

 We live in a charming, 100 year old dwelling. It’s one that offers us opportunities to regularly deal with “old house” challenges!   One of those challenges presented itself recently in our basement.

As I was switching the wash around, I heard a “drip, drip, drip” and my antennae went up.  It didn’t take long to spot the source; there was ugly sewage water in the corner of the basement due to a pipe backup that we thought was fixed. (This was not the first time!)

This plumbing issue started many years ago and it was the topic of a previous blog post on this site. But, as Paul Harvey used to stay, “now for the rest of the story”!

Oddly enough, our neighbor’s pipe runs under our garage, then joins our pipe, which subsequently becomes a single pipe.  Then it all runs out into the street pipes that carry sewage away to wherever sewage goes.  Due to tree roots, over the years, there has been a narrowing of that pipe and once or twice a year it gets overloaded.  Thus, the backup into our basement. (I know, not a pretty visual.)

Charlie has done much to alleviate this situation: he took out a basement commode, the original source of the backup. After hiring professionals to clean out as much of the pipe as possible, he wrapped the part of the pipe that ended just inside our basement wall.  As much as we hoped we had fixed the problem, it turned out those were just band aids.

The time has come to really, truly make this problem go away. For. Good.  My husband called the experts, got an estimate and this summer our yard will be dug up after which we will write a large check.  We are going to have to invest in a total fix.

But the results will be (we hope!)….no more backups of the smelly, yucky water… resulting in a clean basement and good resale value.  Getting rid of the problem means no more anxiety about what may happen in the basement when we are not looking!

Sin, I believe, looks a lot like our plumbing problem:

·        It stinks and makes a mess of everything in its path.
·        Sin has a tendency to get complicated, like the tree roots growing in our pipes.
·        Ignoring our sin is a bit like wrapping the pipes while failing to address the real issue.
·        Not addressing the problem at the source can ultimately exact a price. Earthly relationships get messy, and sometimes strain under the “stink”.  Even worse, there is a breech in our relationship with Jesus when sin is not dug out and eradicated (or repented of).

BUT….don’t we also have benefits/blessings when we deal directly with our sin just as we do when we finally invest in a real solution with our plumbing mess?

·        Even though there often is a cost involved when dealing with and repenting of sin (revealing to others something we have done, asking for forgiveness, going through the painful process of restoring trust, paying someone back, etc.), true repentance provides great opportunity for reconciliation and restoration.
·        Our lives can shine for Christ and we have the joy of walking a straight path with the Lord.  We don’t have to hide anything and can live openly and honestly with others.
·        We have a peace which may result in a better night’s sleep… or lowered blood pressure…maybe an end to stomach aches… or a reduction in headaches.  It’s a known fact that emotional anxiety often produces physical health problems.

One of my favorite Biblical characters is Peter; he was so full of life and crazy impulsive.  He understood what it was to greatly sin, repent and have a restored relationship with his friend and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He says in Acts 3:19, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.”  BLOTTED OUT!  

When we repent, our personal “sewage” is cleaned up, eliminated and forgotten by God, Himself.  Friends, is there a “personal sewage” issue going on in your life? Maybe the time has come to root it out and get rid of it for good.  May you experience the blessing of restoration as you get right with God!