I’m not quite sure how I missed it, but recently it dawned on me that since living in my new home, I’d never actually received a water bill.
I was sure I’d registered the house at the beginning, but nothing had ever come through.
Initially I didn’t think much of it, but I took a few photos of the water meter (and the reading) and figured I’d ring the water company at some point during the week to see what was happening.
The week was really busy and it wasn’t until the end of Friday that I remembered.
It was then that I got a bit of a shock!
Speaking to the customer service agent, he asked how many people lived at the property, joking that we must have a swimming pool, based on our water consumption.
Oh yes, he explained.
You’re using a LOT of water.
He then told me how much the bill was – multiples of hundreds of pounds – and I nearly keeled over.
But that’s just not possible, said I. You’ve got it wrong.
He suddenly turned into Mr Doom and Gloom and in a deeply concerned tone, suggested that perhaps I had a leak under the property.
It might need to be investigated. The garden might need to be dug up.
The end of the world was probably pretty close too.
My heart sank.
I did not have time or head space for any more drama and I could feel anxiousness rising up in my chest like a swirling tornado. He promised to set the wheels in motion for an investigation and we ended the call.
I sat there for a minute and thought it through, having visions of gushing geysers surging beneath my property.
I don’t want to see my garden dug up.This could take months to sort out.
Suddenly, I heard that lovely, still, small voice.
And all of a sudden I started thinking back to time after time after time, where I’d been in similarly worrying situations and somehow, in different ways, I’d never been let down.
Oh, things hadn’t been easy, hadn’t always worked out the way I wanted them to, but I’d never, ever been forsaken or abandoned.
Ring them back. (came the gentle nudge in my spirit).
I didn’t even know what I was going to say but I guess I was looking for some reassurance.
This time I got through to a different advisor and as she started looking through my account, she let out a long, slow Aaaahhhhhh.
She’d found something!
It seems that the meter number they had on file for me was wrong.
Suddenly it all clicked into place, as she twigged that I was being billed for a huge house nearby (that must have at least 5 bedrooms…and ha, possibly the aforementioned swimming pool).
Within minutes, it was all sorted, switched over and a new much more normal bill was generated on the system.
As I finished the call, I was grateful for good customer service but also for that still, small voice which again reminded me to slow down, breathe and stop worrying.
In the grand scheme of things, in a deeply unstable suffering world, my excessively large water bill is so unimportant.
It’s incredibly small potatoes, when I consider that a big chunk of the world doesn’t even have access to clean water.
But you know what, in that moment, it wasn’t really about water, it was about whether I could trust God in all the minor ups and downs of life, as well as the ‘big stuff’.
We all have these moments; a large bill, an alarming phone call, a worrying symptom.
Some of them turn out to be nothing. Some turn into something, but can we trust God through it all anyway?
When anxiety and fear grabs us in a headlock, can we find the strength to say, God, you’ve never failed me up to this point…I don’t believe you’re about to start’.
I really believe that God is interested in all the little details of our lives. But that simple prayer of trust and of letting go, is one of the hardest prayers we have to pray.
Often, as we pray it, nothing spectacular happens. We don’t feel any different, worry can still be nibbling around the edges. But there is something quite powerful in surrendering the outcome of any situation to a God who knows all and sees all. Can we trust him with the outcome of the big things and the little things?
He wants to help.
He just needs to be asked.