I am what you might call an icee. I LOVE my ice. I love to chew it and I love to have cold drinks. I love to, just like my grandmother did, refill my glass with ice halfway through the meal. And as a woman who feels about 14 months pregnant right now in August humidity that you can cut with a knife AND who is managing the limits of gestational diabetes – my only real treat at the end of a meal is an icy drink. You get the picture.
Our new (to us), stainless steel, $2700 oversized, double-door fridge is. the. stuff. It makes different kinds of ice. And counts the ounces as you put the ice and/or water in. And has a fancy-pants computer screen on it. And a special little produce sliding drawer. And basically is like a family member because I love it so much.
So, when the ice machine stopped working, I thought “no, no, no… This can’t be.” Not now. I only have a few weeks left in this pregnancy- “not my ice!!”. I thought that maybe I’d just emptied it all in one evening and if I waited a handful of hours, it would come back. I waited. For days. No luck.
McHubz watched YouTube videos and googled the part that seemed to be failing. Eventually, he needed to call in appliance repair. Sure enough, the repairman said it was, indeed, a broken part and was near-$400 to fix. Not much over the part for cost that Jeff had found online too.
So, I decided to pray over my fridge.
This may not sound weird to you at all. You may pray about/over things all the time.
Or, you may be like me, I pray for the health of my unborn babies. I pray for injustices in the world. I pray for sick friends. I pray for acquaintances’ family members that I read about on Facebook. I pray for our World Vision children. I pray for mental health when things are hard. I pray with gratitude over our provisions – food, our home, our clothing – the necessities.
But, somewhere along the line, I decided that praying for the little things just doesn’t seem fair or right.
I’ve heard it said that when it comes to prayer, one man’s parking space is another’s healed cancer. Some folks can pray for either with equal fervor. Because those desires seem inequitable to me, I don’t pray to find good parking spaces.
A funny thing happened though when I felt the stirring to pray over the fridge. It was, after all, $400 that we had not planned on using this way and that really needed to go toward more important things these days. I prayed that it would be clear to us if we should even spend the money on fixing this.
That evening at dinner, the McBabies told me that they had prayed with daddy for the refrigerator to work that day. I said – “huh? You did what?” McHubz confirmed that they did, in fact, pray all together that the ice machine would simply start working.
Lo and behold, come that night we heard the sound of all sounds: the ricochet of an ice cube falling in the giant empty ice tub inside of the fridge. WHAT?!? And, the next morning, the ice machine was full and has been working since.
An answered prayer? Who knows if it will work for 1 week or 10 years? McHubz and I were thankful, but still were saying things like:
- – “Well, maybe when we were in there, the repairman or I wiggled a connection that was lose and got it working again.”
- – “Well, maybe I just overdid it and ate too much ice that day and it needed a break.”
- – “Well, maybe the filter is reading incorrectly and it won’t make ice if it needs a new filter.”
And then McBaby #1 said:
- – “Well maybe God just reached His invisible hand in there and fixed it.”
- Crickets *
This really isn’t about the icemaker. I am convinced that God saw fit to fix it, yes. I am very, very grateful. I’m awake now at 2:28am and just heard a plop of ice in the bin that makes me grin as I type. It’s awesome.
It’s about the fact that if I don’t think it is “fair” or “right” to pray for the little things, then, somewhere along the line, I have determined that it IS fair to pray for other things. Not only that, but I’ve resolved that I have some sense of what is and isn’t fair – as if I’m the epicenter of truth in being the receiver. I’ve also established some sort of cosmic barter system in my daily life that some things are okay to pray for and expect healing/help/guidance/provision and some aren’t.
So really, again, this extends far beyond the icemaker.
You see, I have almost-5 children. Three are already among us in the world. They are beautiful, healthy, learning, growing, developing, funny, and loved and treasured like you wouldn’t believe. #biasnoted
At times, I’ve had difficulty praying for my twins (in utero) during this pregnancy. I mean, after all, we’ve gambled three times and had God’s favor in their well-being. We have a wonderful house, nice reliable cars,
relatively cute clothes, the American dream.
Who am I to ask for anything else???
The problem with this way of thought is that no matter how I felt when those things all came along, I somehow now believe that if this isn’t fair, then there is a fair-o-meter of what is.
You can’t say something isn’t fair unless you have some sort of inclination that something else is.
And, apparently, I think, at some level, that it is fair to ask God for a white picket fence, 2.5 children, a brand-new minivan, and organic food. But beyond… now that’s just too much.
God pours His lavish love on us. He pours His grace on us. He pours His provision on us. Even when some around us suffer and we feel guilty asking for anything. We “rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn” and, in this, I’m believing that God wants us to come to Him with big needs and small needs – not because they’re both fair to ask of Him, but because we are not the judge, the gift-giver, the future-seer, the life-sustainer, or even the one who turns water into wine. Or, in this case, ice. #seewhatIdidthere
If He cares about the BIG things that seem to require all kinds of logistical, systematic, political, and spiritual changes in many lives, countries, and even doctrine, perhaps it is not far-fetched to think He is capable of guiding the LITTLE things in our lives and homes.
The working ice machine has caused me to question some of my beliefs and insecurities that may stem from guilt, not reverence.
I’ve spent the rest of this week touching things in my house after everyone is asleep already. I’ve touched the crib and asked the Lord that He would bless it and the babies that will sleep in it in just a handful of days; that He would, in His kindness, offer them (and let’s face it more for us) the gift of sleep in that season. None of this up-every-hour-crap that new babies can sometimes pull. Times 2 – twins!!! I’ve touched the desk in the McBabies’ playroom and asked God that as we transition from homeschool to public school this year that the kids would find fruits in their labors at a “new” school, that they wouldn’t destroy the room with Sharpies, and that they would enjoy having a place they can call their own to work.
(me at almost 33 weeks in front of said desk)
I’ve touched the closet doors and prayed that God would somehow make that one bedroom closet like a cup of oil that runneth over. It is currently housing 5 kids’ (put that in your pipe and smoke it!!!) clothes – including dressers. It makes the most sense for our family to arrange it that way and I’m asking God to meet that request because it will help streamline our mornings this fall so I don’t end up in the loony bin.
I’m touching the piano praying that the little hands that play its keys will grow in their creativity and know when to play and when not to so they don’t wake the wrong people around here. The list goes on.
And sometimes the other shoe drops and life is much, much harder and we are faced with reeeealllly hard shit. And it may be for long seasons even. But, the reality is that all of this other stuff also (and perhaps mostly) is what fills every day, every moment, every life and God is in all of the details. Perhaps we should come to Him with ALL of it.
(the kids LOVE countdowns, surprises, anticipation; long paper chain = countdown to babies; 2 short = to their school; 1 medium = to daddy’s school)