Tuesday, July 19, 2022

A valuable object lesson

This morning, while on the phone with my youngest daughter, I decided I'd get a headstart on dinner. During the summer, I like to make use of my crockpot because it's too hot to stand over the stove and cook. As I was digging through our big chest freezer, I pulled out a package of ground beef. Noticing the date on it, September 2021, I asked if she thought it would still be good. I could tell by the silence on the other end of the phone she was busy Googling an answer. A few minutes later, she responded, "If the meat has been kept at zero or below, it will be fine. What temperature is your freezer set to?" I had no idea. She then asked me to look for the thermostat. Assuming it would be near the top back of the freezer, or along one of the sides, I began moving things around. All of a sudden, I had an avalanche of cold meats falling on my head! I picked them up as quickly as possible and put them all back into place on the top shelf, the shelf I'd designated for meats since it was closest to the vents that blow out the cold air. "I don't think it has one," I said to her. "Yes, it does," she said, "all freezers have a thermostat." 

I was so frustrated. I'd looked in the freezer and couldn't find a thermostat. Since I'm so short, I decided to go into the house and get a stepstool. As soon as I had it in hand, I went back to the freezer to look again. 

Since I'd already checked the top shelf, I moved to the second one. Moving frozen fruits and veggies, I found nothing. My daughter was still on the phone with me and encouraged me to check the door, perhaps there was one there. Nope. Nothing. 

It was cold standing in front of the freezer. I was worried about keeping the door open long since the warm air from the garage would put the food at jeopardy. Closing the door again, I went inside and searched through my appliance manuals until I found the one for the freezer. There was nothing helpful in there! 

My sweet girl asked me for the freezer model number. She was going to look up information on line. I couldn't find anything on the paper manual so I went back to the freezer to see if I could find one. That's when I got the brilliant idea to start at the bottom and work my way up. 

Moving frozen breads around, I looked at the very back of the bottom shelf of the freezer. Nothing! Now I was really getting frustrated! This was a name brand appliance, a good quality item, surely there had to be a serial number inside and surely there had to be a thermostat!

I got down on my knees and started moving things from the next shelf. Frozen Chinese entrees and convenience foods began to tumble into my lap. Holding the cold things, I continued to look. When I'd moved the last item on that shelf, way back in the back right hand corner, I could see a dial! Oh, thank the Lord! I quickly flipped on my cellphone light and shone it on the dial. Sure enough, there was a thermostat! My daughter said, "What's it set on, Mom?" I looked and saw that the dial was set on 4. Yikes! The dial only went up to 9 with 8 and 9 being marked as the coldest range. Turning the dial up to 7.5, I felt better. I wondered why I'd never thought to check the thermostat before? We'd had this appliance for 8 years!

After I'd come inside with my ground beef and slipped it into the microwave for defrosting, some verses of Scripture came to mind: "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have everlasting life; and these are they that bear witness about Me. “Yet you do not want to come to Me, that you may have life." John 5:39-40. Why did those verses pop into my head? I guess because I'd been searching for something that was in plain sight. 

I kept thinking about the verses and realized in Bible times, the disciples didn't have the New Testament. All they had was the Old Testament so even though they didn't have the writings telling about Jesus' life and miracles, they knew about the prophesied Messiah. Though Jesus spoke to the common people in parables, He had given His disciples the ability to understand His teachings, but often, they still were baffled at times requiring Him to go into a deeper explanation. Jesus was right there among them and still at times they didn't get it! Wow! Just like the freezer thermostat was there all along, I just didn't see it. 

Jesus doesn't hide himself from us. He wants us to know Him. 

Jeremiah 29:13 says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." 

The obscure thermostat brought peace of mind when I found it. Knowing I could control the temperature and keep our foods safe for long periods of time was comforting, but even more so was knowing that God used that object lesson to remind me to always keep my eyes fixed on Him. I hope you'll choose to seek Him daily and allow Him to use some of life's little frustrations to remind you that He sees and cares about you, because He really does!





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