Workplace Miracles Series
Just a few years ago my wife was having severe back problems and they would try injections before going to full surgery. It seems these doctors have a ridiculous sense of timing of when to start said procedures. Like 6:00 in the morning. To those of us that are not 'morning people,' that is a crazy time to do anything other than to sleep. Anyway, up at 5:00 to get a shower, get dressed, and drive to the surgery center to arrive by 6:00 AM.
We did arrive on time and she had her procedure. While waiting through her procedure and waiting for her to wake up, it gave me time to think about a project I had going on at the time. I had a major problem and it was by my own doing. Allow me to share some background.
Some weeks earlier I had a lady call me that I had not heard from in over 12 years, but she was familiar with my profession. She wanted to do a remodel to the master bath of their home, located in Rowlett. Unfortunately, she had tried to get a building permit on her own and had managed to upset just about everyone in the permit office, and they were not cutting her any slack. She wanted to expand her shower out of the current foundation line, so as to make it more roomy in her tract home with a small master bath. But to do that, she would also have to expand over the side property building line, and they told her, "NO!"
She called me to see what her options were and I explained that she could apply to the BoA (Board of Adjustment) for a Variance, or there was a little known exception in the IBC (International Building Code) that did allow for fireplaces and bay/box windows to extend over the building line up to 2' x 7' to a maximum of 14 SQ FT. The BoA would take a few months, so we decided to go the special IBC exception. The city was not going to allow it, and I think it was because she had already made most everyone angry at her. No one was interested in helping her any longer. They basically told me that if she had never come in and I had submitted the project, it would have been approved even though it was a shower vs a fireplace - it did have a window in it. But it was too late now. The CBO (Chief Building Official) had ruled and the only way to override was to go to the BoA or to District Court suing the city.
Well using the common sense that God so graciously gifted me, I started to think of other ideas. It would be permissible to just cantilever the shower out in space over the side building line, but we could not use wood as she did not want to step up 5 or 6 inches plus the shower curb that would have been close to 10-12" high. So the answer was to use a 1/2" plate of steel that was the size of the shower, so that enough was back in the house that the cantilevered portion would stay static and we could actually build a wall upon it. I sat down and tried to take enough dimensions to figure it all out of where to drill holes for support, but more important was the hole for the shower drain. I was having to go with theoretical dimensions as the existing outside wall was in the way of getting perfectly accurate dimensions.
Well you can only guess how that came out. I had missed the center of the shower drain by ONE INCH and the drain fixture would not go around where the drain pipe was located. We did not realize that until the new wall, window, and siding was in place. Just how was I going to chip through 1/2" of solid plate steel so as to install the drain? Do I take it all apart, which would upset the client and cost me at least a few thousand dollars? What do I do? And as I went to bed that night I asked God to help me find an answer.
Back to the surgery center the next, very early, morning. Time was up. My wife was awake and was ready to be released. So I went out front to get the car to pull around to the patient pick-up. While going to the car I saw a guy with all kinds of welding and cutting equipment on his truck from Ft. Worth, working on welding a pipe-rail for the handicap ramp into this new building. I asked what he was doing all the way over here in Garland from Ft. Worth. He said his company did a lot of work for this construction company, and someone had not liked the original pipe-rail, so he was here to replace it. Then with God's help to a thought process, I asked if he could cut 1/2" plate steel that was lying flat on concrete. "No Problem," was his answer!
He said since he was so far east now, he would drive on out to Rowlett and cut the steel plate for me for $50.00. "Thank you Lord!!!!" I called the homeowner and she met him at the house, as I had to take my wife back home, and within 10 minutes he had the situation all fixed. It was my mistake and my mis-figuring of the dimensions, but the Lord's answer to the prayer of the night before.
If I had not taken my wife to a 6:00 AM surgery, if she had not been in recovery so long as to allow a contractor to drive to Garland from Ft. Worth, and if I had not been alert to the idea that God allowed me to consider, I would not have seen another miracle in the workplace. Some would dismiss this as the stars were aligned for me that day, but I will state here and now that it was God's Will that I was able to see and witness His answer to prayer!!!
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”