2020-09-16 - Warning Signs
A couple weeks ago, our air conditioning unit was behaving abnormally. While it has been under heavy pressure with the hot summer, we had a few nights in a row that were noticeably cooler, and yet it was still running after eleven in the evening. After investigating to see if it might have been our neighbor’s unit some of the time, with them being in such similar proximity, I learned it was running also, but nowhere nearly as much. I also discovered that the loudest part of the sound I was hearing, outside of our bedroom wall. was our unit running. The other can only be heard when up the hall closer to it. In light of that, my husband turned off the circuit breaker inside the house, to see if it would stop running unnecessarily. After flipping the breaker back on, the unit remained off until a change in thermostat temperature occurred, giving it the message it should come back on with cool air adding to the fan pushing air into the ducts - as it should. It was possible that the relay was just stuck. So for about a day, it came on and went off normally, and then I noticed it was not returning on following a rise in temperature. After these warning signs of our climate control hero being in distress, my husband deduced it likely to be a bad part. He inspected it and found that it was permanently damaged. First, it was stuck on, and then after one of its releases, the metal material connection was broken, and the relay could no longer keep contact. With the right knowledge, know-how, proper tools and a new part, the machine and process are back to full operation - leaving us only out twenty dollars, his time to repair it, and a few days with only ceiling fans to try and even the temperature inside. Its funny how we often do not notice when things are running smoothly - literally or figuratively - but when something seems askew, we begin to pick up clues leading to something needing our attention.
Are there any warning signs in your life, or of someone you know, that have gotten your attention? Something like a second thought about why a machine is running in a situation out of the ordinary-a practical example. Sometimes it is more of a personal or emotional nature that you barely take notice of at first, but then other clues develop that make it difficult for you to ignore. You may not know if there is anything you can do about things that are not tangibly repaired, or at the very least must approach them differently or even get input from someone who has more expertise - like me asking my husband if he noticed the a/c unit running when it was about five degrees cooler outside than the setting on the thermostat inside. When it is more of a thinking problem, I start with prayer and meditation on God’s word. But even knowing that is where I want to start, I understand that sometimes other practical steps can come from that prayer and meditation. Not only do I want to seek people that have wisdom and practical application, but I also want them to be balanced enough not to just say what I want to hear. That is what truth in love is about when it means yielding to the head of the church, Jesus (Ephesians 4:14-16). Keeping our concerns and anxieties quiet can make us feel safe from unwanted judgement, but they can also become a prison to us. It can also give others power over us, and God has said that we have been given power over that which is harmful to us (in Jesus’s name) because he does not want us prisoner to it (Luke 10:17-20, NIV). I have begun a simple exercise when I feel overwhelmed by anything and do not know what to pray or do about it just yet. I quietly speak the name “Yeshua.” It reminds me I am a child of the living God, and when I let him in, I can slowly regain the proper perspective.
After a rough weekend, a call from the nurse to verify my medical history before a procedure reminded me that I am not walking this road alone. My husband taking a day off to take me to have the procedure and then make sure I am settled in at home and cared for is another reminder I am not walking this road alone. News last month of getting an honorable mention on a spiritual writing I entered in a contest was a reminder that when we feel forgotten and without a place to contribute, it is NOT true. We are not meant to be alone and never are if we are a child of God. He has not given us the spirit of fear, but rather power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV). We can find evidence of it as we intentionally take note of any warning signals while looking toward the truth. And it can mean someone else is giving us signals they notice too-when we are unable to see them on our own. Another truth often overlooked or misconstrued is that with or without God’s help, life in the flesh is an ongoing war. Yes, there are physical battles, but equally as prevalent are the battles of the mind and spirit-trying to beat us down so we give up. We fight the war until our last breath, but spiritually we can be free of the brokenness that comes along with living in it now. Living in the spirit means being given the tools to know when trouble is coming upon us and using them to retain peace of mind when things seem to be crumbling around us. We are meant to do so with a community of others as the body of Christ-unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. It is a peace that others will know as they see evidence that we heed warnings, we will not give up, and we know who wins the war.
(Ephesians 4 and Psalms 27, 36, and 37 were part of my reading. Enjoy at your leisure, also.)
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.