We recently introduced our faithful upright freezer, a legend among our kitchen appliances, who wishes to be addressed as Mister Freeze.
Because Mr. Freeze is an old model — excuse us, we did promise to never discuss his age — a “classic” model, he tends to accumulate thick layers of ice on all his shelves and cooling coils. As we mentioned in “The Big Freeze,” this frosty characteristic of our tireless servant once came in handy, when we lost power for days: Mr. Freeze had so much ice built up that he was able to keep things well chilled until the power was restored. (He loves for us to tell this story!)
But there are times when too much ice is…well, too much. The buildup of ice on Mr. Freeze’s coils drastically reduces his efficiency. Hence, it takes more power for him to function properly — and actually, with all that ice choking his coils, he’s really NOT functioning properly!
Another downside of his icy condition is that eventually things no longer fit in his iced-up compartments. What was once a 12-inch clearance can easily become a nine-inch clearance, because his shelves are bound in about 3 inches of freezer frost! That’s when it’s time to stop writing and give Mr. Freeze a little TLC in the form of defrosting. Or as he describes it, The Big Thaw! (We really should stop letting Mr. Freeze watch all those old detective movies.)
The Big Thaw is, quite honestly, a big mess! As the ice melts away, all sorts of things reveal themselves: locked within the thick layers of freezer frost are the memories of foods long gone. Funky odors are emitted (which Mr. Freeze finds a little embarrassing), strange stains of purple, orange or red sometimes surface (probably from tiny leaks of concentrated fruit juices or the occasional drop of blood from a sirloin), along with bits of soggy cardboard from old packages (preserved like fossils in a tar pit), and endless puddles of cloudy water that collect on the garage floor (requiring towels and newspapers galore).
Mr. Freeze stands there with his door wide open, feeling a little exposed, as chunks of long-accumulated ice fall away from his neglected coils, and all his dirty little secrets drain away…. Ahem. But it’s all for the best. Afterwards, Mr. Freeze feels like a new appliance, running smoothly and once again ready to tackle the world of frozen foods!
Can you relate to Mr. Freeze? Are your spiritual coils choked by the ice of indiscretion? Is the frost of past failures clogging areas of life, until there’s no room for new people, new directions, and new dreams?
As we go through life we tend to accumulate thick layers of “ice”: hurts and disappointments start to cool our fervor; unforgiveness can chills our hearts; and before we know it, we’re bound by the ice, separated from God and others by a thick layer of frost. When that happens, it’s time for the Big Thaw.
We need to open our hearts to God — wide open — and allow the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to defrost our attitudes and our relationships. David’s continual prayer was “Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 GOD’S WORD)
As our guilt and burdens melt away, we’ll detect the rotten stench of any bitterness and unforgiveness, see bits of soggy cardboard from our past mistakes, and the stains of old sins at last confronted. That icy heaviness will begin to fall away, leaving us free once again, and functioning more smoothly and efficiently.
“…Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race…before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 ESV)