I spent some of my childhood and all of my teenage years, with my family, growing up on a small farm. My father was an executive during the day and farmer when he wasn’t at work. We had all kinds of animals. At the time of my story I’d guess we had about 8 head of cattle. It was mid-winter and the water supply for the cows had been frozen for several weeks. Every morning, before school, I would get up early with Dad and fill 5 gallon buckets of water in the basement and carry them out to the cows to drink. It is amazing how much water a cow can drink. They would drink right out of the buckets and then we would go back for more. At minimum we would carry 5 gallons per cow but sometimes 10. After we finished the watering we would either pour hot water into the water trough to melt the ice or break up the ice, remove it and fill it to the top with fresh water. When Dad got home from work in the evening we started all over again. This had been going on for about two weeks. When Saturday came around my Dad was so tired of packing water he decided to thaw the pipes out. I was at work so I wasn’t there but my memory of Dad telling the story is so vivid in my mind that it has an immense impact on my life to this very day.
Dad worked all day trying to thaw the pipes, he heated them, he took them apart, he dug them up and heated them, without a hint of success. Nearing the end of the day and having tried everything he could imagine, he decided to pray. He prayed and God answered! He went to the basement to get a bucket of hot water as directed, and when he came out he asked for more direction, “What now God?” “Go into the front pasture?” Okay, “Now what?” “Pour the water on the ground over by the telephone pole?” Okay, “Now what?” “Get another bucket of hot water?” Okay, “Now what?” “Pour it out in the same spot?” What happend next was simply amazing and I’ll tell you why.
You see the supply water pipe wasn’t buried very deep in the ground so the cows would often puncture the plastic water pipe during the rainy season. It would take a while before we found out there was a leak, usually it was when the water bill came. Dad and I would find the leak, dig it up, cut out a section of pipe and replace it. Although, it was relatively easy to locate the leak because it was always in one of one of the mud holes, it was difficult to fix because even if it wasn’t raining we were working down in a muddy hole that continually filled back up with water. Over the years, we learned just where the 570+ feet of water pipe was because of all the leaks. There was no water pipe where Dad dumped the buckets of hot water. In case you missed that I’ll repeat it, there was no water pipe where Dad dumped the water. It was simply an act of obedience.
The faucet started to run like a hot summer day!
When I think about it I can’t help but wonder, what if Dad had asked God first? Would it have still taken all day? Maybe, but I think if Dad would have asked and really listened he would have had a whole day available for something else. When Dad reached the end of himself he called out to God and God met him.