Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)
Our washing machine died Monday evening. The drums seized. The new washer is only expected to arrive on Friday. This afternoon (Wednesday), Luke and I took our laundry to the local laundromat. It took us a short while to relearn how to use the washer and the dryer at the laundromat. It certainly made me appreciate how we take the washing machines in our homes for granted. It is much easier to go to the basement and put the machine on as we do other things at home. To use the laundromat we need to drive to it and even use coins to operate the machines.
This is a parable to our lives as things take an unexpected turn. We never had any intentions to close down our washer. Suddenly we find out that it would not drain the water. We even had to call in an appliance technician to figure out whether we should repair the machine or buy a new one. Life suddenly turns on us. We find out that we need to drive to the local laundromat to get our laundry done.
In Romans 5:3-5 Paul tells us that suffering in our lives changes us. He tells us the suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Yet when we go through the suffering we sometimes find it difficult to persevere let alone move to character, and then hope. Sometimes it becomes a long process. Many times in my life, I only notice the character and the hope when I look back, not when I look forward. Maybe this is where when we suffer we need to focus on the moment. We do not look back or look forward but we look up. We ask God to strengthen us for that moment. We ask the Holy Spirit to come alongside us to make us realise that we are not alone when we suffer. We ask others to pray for and with us as we go through that trial.
As Luke and I emerged from the laundry, I had a great feeling looking at the fresh dry laundry that came out of the dryer. I had cleared 2 days’ worth of laundry. Luke and I also had our dinner in between the washer and the dryer at the laundromat. We had Luke’s favourite chicken shawarma wraps. Getting the laundry done at the laundromat also has its good moments. I was thankful to God for being able to do some laundry even without a working washer in our home.