Updated: Jul 9, 2019
Walking into the kitchen Saturday morning...
I was met by a somewhat confused wife. She had the dishwasher door open and was staring inquisitively at dishes which were half washed. Stale water in the bottom of the dishwasher, and no lights on the control panel, brought her to the conclusion we had blown a breaker. Knowing the circuit breaker also controlled the refrigerator, I opened the door… yep… lights… nope… not the breaker. I suggested possibly the wire nut had come off in the dishwasher electrical junction. So… with screwdriver in hand, I proceeded to take the bottom panel off to access the electrical wires. In not so wise a fashion, I stuck my fingers into the wiring harness… you know… just to jiggle the wires a bit.
Sparks! And Power!
After jumping back from the sparks, and with the dishwasher running again, I decided to let the dishwasher complete its cycle. Then there was the annoying smoky smell strongly suggesting I should consider plan B. Back on my belly, I tried the finger in the wires again…
More sparks… lots of sparks… and fire!
Letting out a loud “Dr. Emmett Brown” “HAH” with my soprano voice, I blew out the fire… and the dishwasher stopped. It was then, in all my infinite wisdom, and at the strong encouragement of my wife, I proceeded downstairs to turn off the circuit breaker. A few minutes later, with the charred wiring cut out, new wiring in its place, the breaker turned back on, the dishwasher was running through its cycle. No sparks… no fire… no smoke… clean dishes… life is good!
How many of us have dealt with stress in our lives in some form. Maybe you find yourself in a stressful situation right now. Job… marriage… kids… family… ministry… health… all seeming to be at the root of stress in our lives. But are these the root… actually we should be asking if stress is the root? What, actually, causes stress? Would you all agree with me it’s “Fear”? Fear I’m not qualified… or have what it takes to be successful in my job… marriage… kids… family… ministry… health?
Like my dishwasher experience, fear is the spark… stress is the smoke and fire… but what feeds all this? What is the current needing to be shut off to stop the flow of destruction?
I’m not good enough… I don’t have what it takes… I’m not qualified… I’ve made too many mistakes… are all the thoughts produced by self condemnation… destructive thoughts which bring us to believe we will never measure up to God's standards. It doesn’t help the situation to try to fix it ourselves… to stick our fingers in the mess to jiggle the wires hoping it will all get better with our own efforts.
We have access to turning off the circuit breaker of condemnation in Romans 8:1, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” If God doesn’t condemn us, why should we condemn ourselves?
We cannot turn off this current, however, unless we have a new current to replace it… a new flow of power in our lives… a new different circuit breaker to turn on.
God’s Love for Us!
We have access to turning on the circuit breaker of God’s love in Romans 8:38-39, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
No more sparks of fear… no more smoke and fire of stress… just a pure clean current of God’s love for us to wash us clean of self condemnation.