Friday, September 23, 2011

Time to Defrost?

There have been times at our house when the freezer door didn’t get closed properly and stood open long enough that everything was spoiled. It was really discouraging to unload and throw away shelves of fish and fruit. Other times food hasn't spoiled, but the freezer frosted up bad enough to need defrosting.

I have a tendency to put off defrosting the freeze because it's one of my least favorite jobs. One time I’d been putting it off for over a year, so it was really bad. Many things were frosted to the shelves and had to be pried or chipped loose. Other things were completely buried in frost and needed to be dug out. I was appalled. When I finally confronted the true condition of the freezer I felt chastened.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I’m working on a cleaning job I start praying. Not the usual list of “gimmee’s” but more along the lines of “What am I missing, Lord? What’s the next step?” That time, because I was feeling so chastened it was, “What can I learn from this, Lord?” I was aggravated with myself because it seemed my mind was wandering instead of praying and seeking God, but I suddenly realized it wasn’t aimless wandering, it was God-directed wandering. I saw my life as my freezer, in the same condition, too and that was an awful sight.

Just as I have stocked my freezer, God has stocked me. He’s given me gifts, talents and resources to be used in my life for Him. But, because I hadn’t decluttered and defrosted my life recently, many of those things He’s given me were buried under layers of frost and ice. Sure, in a freezer you want frost and ice—but it has to be in the right place or it makes the freezer labor harder to do what it was meant to, and it makes it harder to get to or even find what’s hiding within.

That day as I unloaded the freezer so I could defrost it, I found all sorts of things I’d forgotten I had available to me, as well as things I hadn’t been able to find in a long time. I kept thinking, “Rats! I just bought some more because I couldn’t find this.” And, “Where was this when I needed it the other day?”

The same thing goes on in my life. God has equipped me to do the things He’s called me to do. If I take care of things well, I can easily put my hands on everything I need. I’m efficient and I run smoothly. If I do not take care of things, then I spend all my time trying to find things, then the time is gone and I wasn’t able to do what God called me to do.

Many times I've said to God, “Lord, I can’t do that! I don’t have what I need to do that.” I’ve said it hundreds of times--and I was wrong. If God wants me to do something, He’s given me all I need to do that task for Him. The real question is, where did I put it?

My freezer had lost all its previous organization. Everything was simply crammed into any spot that would work and nothing could be found. It was a constant source of irritation to every family member who went to find something in there, and my life had deteriorated to the same point.

So, do I throw up my hands and walk away? Do I scrap the old one and buy a new one? Or do I get down to work, freeze my hands off, and get it cleaned out? Lives need cleaning out occasionally, too—especially mine.

Paul told Timothy...
Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you... ~1 Timothy 4:14

For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:6-7 NAS

God has given us gifts to use for Him, not to set on a shelf and forget about. Not to be lost amongst everything else. Not to be wasted and thrown out.

I don’t want to reach the end of my life and be like a freezer stuffed full of freezer burned, bad food—food that is no longer usable because it wasn't used when it was meant to be. I don’t want God to have to go through my life and throw everything out because it’s no longer valuable.

The things He’s given me—the gifts, the talents and skills, even the interests—are given to me for a reason. I’m to use them for God, for furthering His kingdom, not just to let them sit on the shelf and go bad.


So tell me, does your freezer need defrosting?

And more importantly, does you life need defrosting?

p.s. These pictures are not my freezer. ;-)

7 comments:

  1. Patty, this post really spoke to me today. I have 3 freezers and they're all in different conditions. One if overloaded with so many things, I forget I have stuff, one is completely empty, maybe an old box of popsicles, and the deep freeze is a mixture of clutter, good stuff, and empty boxes or bags.

    So much food for thought here...get it..food! lol :)

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  2. I have multiple freezers too, Jesse. Every now and then I'll pull an empty bag out of my freezer--glad I'm not the only one. LoL

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  3. We have two - one is in the garage, and we can't actually use it in the summer, because it can't stay cold out there. Just starting to use it again. This is a SUPER analogy, girl! WOW.

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  4. Brenda9:37 AM

    I have a lot on my plate today, and have been skimming the blogs I follow. As soon as I saw the freezer full of frost, I just started laughing! I think I caught on to what you were going to say before I even read your post! So timely and true!

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  5. We have an overflow freezer, too, Jo (we actually have TONS of freezer space, which translates in lots to defrost and more to keep track of. *eye roll*)

    LoL, Brenda. You did catch that the pictures are not my freezers, right? I'm relieved to say that mine haven't been (quite) that bad. A picture can be worth a 1000 words, can't it?

    I love how God gives us reminders to look to Him and cling tightly to Him--they're all over the place if we just can see them. My freezer is one place He speaks to me through fairly often.

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  6. Great post, Patty! I can relate to the 'unorganized' freezer. Mine is often filled with things I've forgotten I had. I'm good about not wasting things when they're in the refrigerator - I simply freeze them! But I'm not so good about making a point to use them once they're in the freezer! Ugh! I know I've got a bit of organizing to do - both of my freezer AND of myself! God bless!

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  7. Wow, love this analogy! Love even more the reminder to pray continually, even when doing mundane tasks, asking God to show us what we can learn from every experience. What a way to maintain a teachable heart!

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