My husband and I recently bought a fridge.  The one that we’ve had for more than ten years decided that it was not going to serve us anymore.  Truth be told, they don’t make them like they used to anymore.  As a child I always knew my parents bought General Electric fridges because we were not rich and needed our appliances to last even past the warranty date.  And from experience, General Electric appliances have always stood the test of time. 

I have even known of persons who would buy the white options, and when they would rust, they would repaint them because that was the only thing that showed their age.  The rest of the fridge worked perfectly as the day it was bought.  

But I digress.  So, we bought this new General Electric fridge and as with everything that comes into my possession, I pray over it, that it would serve me for as long as I needed it without dysfunction.  So far so good, except that I travelled for three weeks and when I returned home my husband said something that I didn’t want to hear.

To give some context to what I’m about to share, we are the parents of an adult child who is away attending university.  The fridge that was available at the time we needed one came with an ice and water dispenser.  Not my preference as I promised myself, after the last fridge malfunctioned in that area, that my next fridge would just be for cooling and freezing.  We don’t need a dispenser, since we do not have any small children and do not need the amount of ice that it would produce daily.

Therefore, when my husband told me one day as we were in the kitchen together that he cannot get any ice from the dispenser, my heart dropped.  I’m like, “but God this fridge is brand knew and I dedicated it to working until I no longer need it, so what is this”?  I left it alone and put it out of my mind, but the day I really needed some ice, it bothered me that I couldn’t get any from the dispenser of the fridge that I paid so much money for.

That was the day I decided to open the dispenser from the back, which is actually inside the fridge, to see what was going on.  It resisted my advances for a bit and because I didn’t want to break anything I worked with it gingerly until it opened.  When I looked inside, to my surprise the dispenser was full of ice, but ice that had gotten stuck together.  The ice-cubes had created a single mass of ice which could not advance through the shoot, because for three weeks no one was dispensing ice.

Also the sensor communicated to the ice-maker that the dispenser was full, so ‘stop meking ice’. The consequence of that was no ice was being made and no ice was being dispensed.

And you know my creative mind.  Immediately it began churning as I drew a parallel between my dispenser that stopped functioning and us as human beings who stop being productive for the same reason.

The Dead Sea is located in the Middle East in Israel and Jordan, and it was formed when the nearby Mediterranean Sea overflowed and created a landlocked body of water.  What is unique about it is not only its saltiness, but the fact that it is being supplied with water from smaller nearby drainages, but it has nowhere to drain.  Therefore, the only way the water can escape is by evaporation.  Nothing lives in it or close by it except some microbes that can survive in the extremely salty water.

Some of us human beings are like the Dead Sea and my fridge dispenser.  We take in and glean from everything and everyone around us, but we never give out.  And like my dispenser, we run the risk of being dysfunctional.  There must be something that you’ve received whether by education or experience that you can share with others, thus making space for more of the same.

Some persons don’t give because they are afraid that what they have would be depleted.  Yet others do not give because they feel that what they have may not be good enough. Whatever the reason, even scripture tells us in Acts 20:35 NIV

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.

We were created to be relational and relationships that work calls for giving and receiving.  If you refuse to give, you will not create room to receive.  Just like the Dead Sea, you will die without the ability to produce anything.  A balance must be maintained in your giving, but our lives should always be a revolving door of giving and receiving so that we do not become stagnant and unproductive.

If you guessed that I solved the problem of the ‘dysfunctional dispenser’, you are right.  I cleared the coagulated ice-cubes from the top of the shoot through which the cubes would exit the fridge, I closed back the holder, and voila! In minutes I heard an ice-cube dropped into the internal container.  Problem solved.

From now on I would monitor the ice-production of the fridge and dispense the extra ice-cubes and maybe give to someone who may have use for ice more than I do.  In so doing, I would have employed the universal law of giving and receiving, everybody wins (including the fridge) and the ‘Dead Sea Syndrome’ is prevented in that respect.

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