Homonyms are a funny thing. Unless you are quite sure of the context of the word, the meaning and/or spelling could be in error. Take the homonym sore and soar. This past weekend I can tell you that I am not in error by telling you that I was well acquainted with the word sore. On Friday night an inner prompting told me to check my basement, in particular, my utility room. We were experiencing heavy rains that night and no let up was in sight. Heading down the stairs in my pink jammies at around 11:00 PM, I had no idea that the night would turn into a party that I had wished I was never invited to. Water was standing in the utility room, and my sump pump was groaning. The bathroom downstairs also was encased in water. I went into crisis mode and called my Home Warranty company letting them know I had an emergency. The plumber assigned to my case said there was really nothing that could be done at this point since the torrential rains had saturated the land, the sump pump could not keep up, and I just had to ride out the storm.
Nothing can be done is not in my vocabulary. I am a fix the problem kind of girl. Either I fix it, or engage the help of others to do it for me. Rain was not going to hinder me. I am a fighter. So I took every beach towel, bathroom towel, quilt and blanket I could gather and sopped up the mess as best I could. I also got a red solo cup and a bucket, started filling it up from the overflowing sump pump, and trekked up the stairs countless times. The bucket sloshed as I carried it in the rain and out to the driveway to dump it. I prayed and sang songs of praise to God as I had just learned from the example on Wednesday night at church regarding Paul and Silas in their own crisis. I cried too. A lot. Caleb was fast asleep. Levi was out of state on business. I was taking on a flood by myself and was exhausted. A late night workout in my pink jammies was not what I had planned for. After running the drain cycle on several towels and partially drying them to use again, I assessed the area and started noticing the carpet was wet around the perimeter of every room downstairs. My arms felt like they could fall off from the weight of the bucket loads. Fix it. Fight. Defeat. The rain won.
I took my sweaty, spent body, tear stained face, and defeated spirit and crashed into bed sometime around 3:00 AM. I slept fitfully as I experienced not only profoundly SORE muscles, but also a SORE heart. Adding this to the many battles I have faced these past few years, I seriously wanted to give up. I did wake to a dry Saturday morning. God sustained me as He does, and I reluctantly acknowledged that He must have more for me to do in my life. Interestingly, the YouVersion Bible App verse of the day that greeted me as I woke was Jeremiah 29:11 NIV ’84. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Confirmation at its best.
Help came. The plumber showed up with a temporary sump pump. The water restoration crew set up ten commercial drying fans and dehumidifiers, the insurance claims adjuster took pictures and a report, the septic system guy drained that mess, friends and family called to check on me, and my Life Group from church took Caleb and me out for dinner, washed and folded all of my wet laundry when I was not allowed to use my washer, and paid for my septic tank service. Amazing.
I slept soundly on Saturday night, and as I regained my strength, I came to the realization that even in a flood, God was with me and did not allow me to drown in my drama or devastation. He picked me up and set me on new heights with a clearer perspective. The crisis became smaller in scope as He allowed me to SOAR above my circumstances. Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV ’84 states, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Yes, I was SORE-like the most rigorous workout I had ever done. I also learned to SOAR and am grateful that meaning of the homonym became the stronger of the two that weekend as hope pressed through. God did answer my prayers and did not allow the situation to be a total loss; rather more of an inconvenience. He was faithful even when I was ready to give up. May we remember to soar even when we feel sore in any and every situation, unexpected or unrequested, and trust God’s plans for our good.