God Heals Refrigerators

It started so innocently. I slid open the freezer bin and pulled out the frozen bell pepper I’d been slicing for my veggie eggs every morning. (I’ve found that peppers freeze very well, as long as you’re going to cook them—they tend to be a little mushy upon defrosting.) Normally, I have to run some hot water over the pepper before I can get my knife through it, but this time, I had no problem. Yes, it was frozen, but not as rock hard as I expected.

Hmmm, I thought. Maybe the freezer is going through its defrosting cycle. No worries.

Come early afternoon. I decided to finish off my lunch with a tiny scoop of ice cream. The carton seemed a bit… squishy. And when I dug in my spoon, I realized that the remaining rocky road was soup. Then I noticed the growing puddle on the kitchen floor. The ice cubes were melting. Oh no.

I immediately called my handyman hero, but Pete was on his way to a doctor’s appointment and wouldn’t be back for several hours. I, being thoroughly spoiled by his amazing ability to fix pretty much everything, was clueless. God? Now what?

We have a small chest freezer in the garage, and since I’ve been trying to use up the food we’d had in there for a while, there was actually some space available. I moved the frozen fruit and veggies, figuring they were the most at-risk of defrosting. (Actually, they were pretty much thawed, so we’ll be eating a lot of smoothies and pureed veggie soup in the near future. That should hide the fact that they’d been refrozen into a solid mass.)

But what about the meat? We often buy in bulk to save money, so there was a significant pile of (relatively) expensive food about to go to waste. I began to regret the oversized freezer our fridge came with.

At this point, I got a text from a good friend, asking for prayer for her worsening sore throat. I prayed, then texted back, assuring her I was praying for her, and by the way, please pray for our fridge. It’s not even five years old yet, but it seems to have died.

I’ve never had a prayer answered so quickly! Less than 10 minutes later, her husband pulled into our driveway, with an empty chest freezer in the back of his pick-up. He’s a distributor for Cool Beads (similar to the better-known Dippin’ Dots but much better). He had just picked up a spare ice cream freezer a few miles away, and wasn’t sure where he was going to store it until it was needed again. And then his wife called.

I was overjoyed. Within a few minutes, the remaining frozen food had been transferred to safety. Now I just had to figure out how to save the perishables in the refrigerator.

We have a mini-fridge downstairs, so I filled that first. Then I pulled out our camping ice chests and filled those. Being January, the garage is often cold, but we’ve had a warm spell and it was in the 50s. No help there. However, we still have a front yard full of snow. I could use that.

At this point, Pete arrived back home and started diagnosing the problem. We pulled the fridge out, unplugged it (to “reboot”), vacuumed the back (yes, it was a bit dusty), and ran the built-in diagnostics, which claimed everything was just fine. Hah. Then he generally checked around, wiggled things, and prayed. We both prayed.

Pete happened to be teaching at our small group that night, so he went off to finish preparing while I tried to clean up and make the house look normal. Considering his topic was along the lines of spotting deception by maintaining a face-to-face conversation with God (consider Joshua and the Gibbeonites), it seemed a bit of a coincidence that all this happened right when he couldn’t afford to be distracted. We decided that Pete being ready to teach was a higher priority than the money we’d invested in the food we had on hand. God knows our food budget. We left it in his hands.

By bedtime, it had cooled down to the 30s outside, so I moved the ice chests to the backyard. The fridge was running, but still close to room temperature. There was nothing more we could do at that point, so we went to sleep.

In the morning, the fridge was still warm. We again prayed for guidance, then made breakfast. It was as we were finishing off the last of the meal that we heard the most welcome sound—the grind-then-plop of ice cubes dumping into the ice maker bin! Could it be?

Yes, somehow, without us doing anything else, the fridge was cold! In fact, it was all the way cold, with the fridge at 38° F. and the freezer at -1° F.—a few degrees colder than where I usually set it. God, is that You?

So now I have a very clean, very organized refrigerator and freezer. We’re not sure exactly what happened. We’re a bit hesitant, still, and Pete is still checking out the most likely-to-break parts, just in case it’s an intermittent problem. But at this moment, everything is working just the way it’s supposed to. I’m grateful that God heals refrigerators!

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