My friend lost power to her attached garage the other day. The house had electricity, but everything powered through the garage was dead. The garage door wouldn’t open. The sprinklers didn’t work. I traced the problem backwards and spent a good thirty minutes sleuthing the cause, but to no avail. I was on the verge of giving up when I discovered the tiny (and I really mean “tiny”) source of this mini blackout.
Everything in her garage was plugged into one outlet and that outlet featured a small circuit-breaker inside. It’s commonly called a GFCI outlet. Most of the time, this outlet acts like any other outlet and we forget it’s there. But when the difference in electrical current changes, the GFCI shuts off the electrical flow in .025 seconds. Electricity is useful, but dangerous and a GFCI helps save lives. In this case, it also prevents one from opening the garage and running the sprinklers.
What was my tip? I noticed a small yellow light on the outlet that indicated it had been tripped. I pushed the button, which reset the outlet, and everything worked again. How remarkable that something so small, so overlooked, so easily taken for granted, could so dramatically shut everything down.
I don’t know what caused the circuit to break, but something did. And while the sprinklers and garage door not working are an inconvenience, who knows what trouble was avoided. The garage could have burned down. Who knows? Whatever the case, that small circuit-breaker forced everything to stop.
What are the small circuit-breakers in your life? A sprained ankle? A cold? A migraine headache? What if God is using those small (Okay, none of those feel small. I know.) inconveniences to force your hand. What if these are his reminders to stop and rest?
We all want to get on the other side of suffering, but what if some of our suffering is God’s way of forcing us to lie down? Remember Psalm 23? “He MAKES me lie down in green pastures.” A good shepherd may not coax his sheep to lie down. He might have to make the sheep lie down. I know that God has had to force me to lie down. I don’t lie down easily. There’s too much to do.
The next time you get hit with a headache, remind yourself to be thankful for the opportunity to slow down. These griefs are sobering reminders of our limitations. They press us into our Maker’s arms.