I’m terrible at looking my sweet husband in the eyes and saying, “I will make sure we eat them this time, I promise.” Knowing, in the back of my mind, they will be forgotten in the back of the fridge. I’m bad about placing another full container in the fridge whether there is room or not. Oh, I will make room! We have the spare fridge. Oh, wait, it’s full too. No, no it’s not, I found a spot on top of the chili bowl. Yes! I knew there was room! I’m awful about leaving them for weeks on end and then wondering what foul odor is lurking every time I enter the laundry room, knowing it’s not the laundry. Then, horrible about quickly walking out, shutting the door, and saying, “I will deal with them later.” Terrible, I tell you, just terrible! For the life of me, I don’t know why I don’t just go ahead and toss them out. I guess I hate the thought of throwing away perfectly good food, when there is a possibility it will be eaten. Please make me feel better and tell me I am not the only one who is terrible about this too.
Ok, if it’s just me, know that it’s not all my fault. You have to admit, those new side by side refrigerators don’t hold anything. I know lots of people who have gotten spare fridges for their garage or pantry simply for that reason. It doesn’t take long for them to fill up, right? I know, I know, I know. I’m making excuses. Apparently, I have more than one problem.
Well, I am happy to report that, as of this moment, the refrigerators are clean, sparkling, like new! Although it’s great to finally have them clean, it was not great dealing with all the leftovers and cleaning up the mess.
It happened at the most inopportune time. Doesn’t it always? One morning, Kevin, noticed the refrigerator light wasn’t working. Well, that evening I noticed the freezer light wasn’t working either. “Um, Kevin, would both lights go out at the same time?” I asked. Further investigation led to the fact that the refrigerator had gone kaput, causing our wonderful evening plans, to die with it. Like the food, our hopes to attend the Fall Festival were souring quickly. The night’s plans were already dampened, when Jacob got sick and couldn’t go, and that meant Kevin or myself had to stay home with him. Now, we all had to stay home. It was going to take both of us to take care of Jacob, dinner, homework, and cleaning out both refrigerators. I say both, because we had no place to store the food in the broken fridge, without first cleaning out the spare fridge.
Drama entered the house, when the girls heard the devastating news. Tantrums and tears flew everywhere! Looking forward to not having to cook dinner, I could totally understand their disappointment. On top of it all, now I had this huge refrigerator stuck in the middle of my kitchen and the sink, already full of dishes, was piling up even more. To makes matters worse, was the added stress of worrying about the cost to repair or possibly buy a new refrigerator. I was on the verge of throwing a tantrum myself.
In the midst of cooking dinner, the thought ran through my head, “What if Kevin was out of town this week and I had to deal with this all alone?” With that thought, the Lord reminded me that there is always something to be thankful for.
While Kevin was up late working, he decided to research possible problems/solutions for the refrigerator. Apparently, the new models come with on and off buttons. He walked over to the fridge, puzzled to find an on/off button on the main display right next to all the other buttons. He pushed, held the button down for 5 seconds, and bam! All the lights came on. I guess, our little Ava, accidentally hit that button, trying to get some ice. During the three years we owned this fridge, why this hadn’t happened before now, I have no idea!
A pleasant surprise awaited me the next morning. My refrigerator was running and looking like new again, and all my dirty dishes were clean. Yes, the night before was not pleasant and totally an inconvenience, but now, suddenly, peace overwhelmed me. Without the extra costs to repair or replace the fridge, things were not as bad as they seemed.
A thought came over me that God sometimes uses inconveniences. Like the refrigerator, He places them smack dab in the middle of our lives. There is no going around them and they force us to stop and clean out the leftovers in our lives. Like the dishes, issues in our lives keep piling up and if we let them stay too long, before we know it, we are full of disgusting leftovers. In a refrigerator, leftovers are the remainders of food, but in life, they are the remainders of feelings. Just as leftovers in a fridge don’t go bad unless they have been left too long, so do our negative or painful feelings. Stress, worry, anger, fear, and sadness, if left too long, unattended, start to grow, mold, and turn into something worse and stink up our souls. Often times, if we just stop and deal with the issues when they happen, we will find it was not as bad as we thought. And, in the process, we get cleaned out. We will feel like new, have a fresh lease on life, and best of all, will be overwhelmed with peace! So the next time, you encounter an obvious inconvenience, it may be God’s peace in disguise.