12/7/05

Encouragement for Today

 

"Over Heating Again"

Sharon Jaynes, Vice President of Radio, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Ephesians 4:26, “If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge.” (TLB)

 

Devotion:

I don’t know much about cars, but I have learned a valuable lesson (actually the lesson was valued at about $4,000.)  When you are driving a car, and that little red needle that fluctuates between C and H, goes to the top and points to H, you need to stop right away.  Do not keep moving. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

 

We had a station wagon that had a hot temper. So many things went wrong with that car that the repair man began to recognize my voice when I called the shop.   I Corinthians 15:33 says, “Bad company corrupts good character,” (NIV) and that car was definitely corrupting mine.  It made me think evil thoughts and want to do bad things with a sledge hammer.

 

One day as I glanced down at the gauges with all the little red needles that tell you insignificant information, (like how fast you are going and how much fuel is in the tank).   I noticed a needle pointing to a big H, and assumed that meant the car was hot.  Well, it was August and frankly I had been hot all day.  So I figured, “What’s the big deal?”  In any case, I thought it would be a good idea to mosey on down to the dealership, 10 miles away, and get them to check it out. Big mistake.

 

A few miles later, smoke started pouring out from under the hood. But did I stop?  No, indeedy!  I just kept going, trying to make it to the repair shop before closing time.  Finally, right in the middle of an intersection, the little engine that could, decided that it couldn’t any longer, and died.  Thus began my first lesson on just how important that little H was on my control panel.

 

“Mrs. Jaynes, You see that needle that is pointing to H?  That means that the engine is runnin’ hot.  When you see that, you’ve got to stop right away.  Since you kept goin’, you burned your engine up. It’s a goner.  You’ll have to get a new one.”

 

“That sounds expensive,” I moaned.

 

“Oh, it’ll be about $4,000,” he answered while continuing to poke around under the hood.

 

Four thousand dollars! And all because I didn’t stop the car when it was overheated.  All because I didn’t heed the warning signs.

 

Cars aren’t the only things that overheat.  I can think of more than a few times when I have overheated myself.  There have been times when my coolant has leaked out all over the road or times when I have run out of the oil of gladness.  There have been times when I’ve wanted to bite somebody’s head off or set the record straight once and for all.  Being stuck in traffic when I’m already 15 minutes late to an appointment,  having to go back to school because my son forgot a book in a subject  that he has a test on the next day, discovering that someone left a blue ink pen in his pocket that has gone through the washing machine.

 

I saw an article in the newspaper once that read, “A man was coaxed out of his home in Issaquah, Washington, by police officers after he pulled a gun and shot several times at his personal computer, apparently in frustration.”  Ah, a kindred spirit.

 

My computer’s safe from me pulling out an AK47automatic, ( because I don’t own one).  But my family, friends, and sales persons are not always safe from another lethal weapon - my tongue.  James 3:8 says, “The tongue is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.”  I resemble that remark.

 

When I start to heat up, I have a tendency to stew a little bit, simmer and mull over a perceived wrong.  Ephesians 4:26 reads, “If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge” (TLB).  I’d lump stewing and nursing in the same category.  Both should be a warning signal that the temperature needle is getting a little off center and too close to that big red H.  But before I blow a gasket and my coolant leaks out all over the road, I need to pull over and let my engine cool

 

One thing I did learn about this overheating business, which is an anathema to me, is that if your car is running hot, the best thing to do is to turn the heater on.  This lets the hot air escape and helps cool the engine down.  Maybe when I am overheating, instead of burning out my engine by continuing down the road, I need to learn how to have a Christ-like confrontation and let some of the heat vent.  Maybe I need to write a psalm or two.  David certainly was great at venting himself when he was overheated.  I find myself reading the psalms and saying, “Go ahead David, tell Him how you really feel.”

 

Another course of action to temporarily treat a hot engine is to pour water in the radiator.  Of course you have to let the motor cool down a bit first or the water will immediately turn into steam.   Many times in Scripture, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Living Water.  If my temperature needle is leaning toward H, maybe I need to read that as HELP HOLY SPIRIT!   Spending a few minutes or hours in prayer is a sure way to cool any engine down.

 

How about you?  Do you know the warning signals that indicate that your engine is about to overheat?  My suggestion is to pull off the road immediately and pray HELP HOLY SPIRIT!  Believe me, the price of driving with an overheated engine can be very costly and will make your moving forward process come to an abrupt halt.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, You know sometimes I get angry and frustrated.  When that happens, help me to stop, take a deep breath, and call on the Holy Spirit for a fresh infilling.  Give me patience, joy, and peace when life “breaks down.”  Thank You that You did not leave us to fend for ourselves, but gave us the power of the Holy Spirit to live a life of godliness and truth.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Every time you feel the thermostat on your heart starting to heat up today, stop and pray ”Help Holy Spirit!”

 

Write down the key verse today and carry it in your pocket as a reminder.

 

Reflection Points:

What causes your emotions to overheat?

 

What do you do when the thermostat on your emotions moves into the danger level?

 

What can you do to keep that thermostat in the “safe” range?

 

Power Verses:

Ephesians 4:26, "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." (NIV)

 

James 1:19-20, " My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (NIV)

 

1 Timothy 2:8, "I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing." (NIV)

 

Additional Resources: 

At Home with God, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_atHome.htm

 

Taming the Tongue, by Deborah Smith Pegues

 

Becoming a Woman who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_becomingAWoman.htm