Had an interesting thing happen to me this morning: When I finished my shower, I could not turn off the hot water; the nob had stopped working. I fiddled with it for a while, wondering if I was simply turning it the wrong way or not hard enough or what. But I couldn’t get it stop no matter how hard I reamed on the nob. And I can ream pretty hard, I might add. Summer after summer of swinging hammers and carrying OSB developed in me a pretty decent grip, even if years of keyboard and mouse use have tamed it.
So, in summary, the cold water nob worked fine *, but not the hot. The hot, gushing water could not be stopped.
I called the office and had them send emergency maintenance over. Not quite an “emergency” per se, but something that needed to be fixed sooner rather than later. At first I thought I would have to bail water out of the tub with a bucket until it was fixed. Then I remembered that tubs come equipped with overflow preventers that let water out when it gets near the top. And then I realized that I had access to the water line valves through a wall panel and could shut the water off that way. So I did.
Anyway, it got fixed soon enough by Mr. Emergency Maintenance Guy. As it turned out, some washer had broke and some screw had stripped or something like that. But even before it was fixed, I was left wondering: What could this mean? What could God be trying to say to me through this? It’s a question I ask all the time of seemingly random life events. I’m finding more and more that there are all sorts of deep meanings to be found in everyday life.
For instance: One day on the way to work, twice as I was walking from the parking garage to my office, someone on the opposite side of a door opened it pretty much the second I was reaching for the handle. Two times could surely be coincidental, but why not probe it for meaning. It doesn’t hurt anything, does it? What meaning did I pull from it, you might ask? Well, a door opening reminds me off all sorts of scriptures, such as Matt. 7 and Luke 11. But the one that fits especially well is Rev. 3:8 where Jesus tells the Church in Philadelphia that he has “set before you an open door.” So, I use such situations to study out relevant scriptures and see what God may be trying to show me.
The day after the two-open-doors incident, I was driving to church and, as I entered Albion, had three cars pull out in front of me in rapid succession. I didn’t have to slam on the breaks or anything, but they all caused me to slow down a bit. As it turns out, they slowed me just enough so that as I neared a red light, it turned green before I had to break. I can’t remember any scripture coming to mind with this situation, but I felt impressed with the idea that God can orchestrate events in our lives to control our pace so that we can cruise through green lights rather than sit at red lights. That lesson even connects with the above open doors. Had I arrived to work just a second or two later, neither of those doors would have opened for me.
The day after the three-cars-pulling-out-in-front-of-me incident, I was again driving to Albion and I passed four Army humvees traveling west on I-94. I doubt I would normally think anything of that particular incident, but since it built upon the patter of two open doors and three cars pulling out in front of me, the four humvees made me think. Again, no scripture for this one. Just felt it represented the move of God’s army into the Albion region.
The day after that, I was super pumped to see what five things God lined up to communicate something to me. But, alas, I was probably looking so hard for it, I missed it.
Last summer, the very morning I was driving to Lansing to test drive a new Toyota Rav4, I walked to my car only to discover my stereo had been stolen out of it. The driver door was slightly open and the dash trim was pulled off and laying in my seat. I was pissed. Not so much that my stereo was gone, but that someone would have the gull to do that to another human–to totally invade another’s property and take what wasn’t theirs. Such disrespect.
Whenever something is stolen, I think it’s a no-brainer to consider what it may represent from a spiritual perspective. We know the devil is a thief who comes to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). He’s the root of all robbery; he loves to pilfer from God’s people. So why not try to discern what spiritual reality could be manifesting in the natural? The spiritual is more real than the natural, remember.
This one was pretty easy: Cars, in dreams, usually represent a person’s calling or ministry–the “vehicle” through which you will serve God. I felt the stereo represented music and worship. So, I took it as an indicator that the enemy may be trying to mute the worship and praise in my life and thus sabotage my calling. Worship is such an essential component of serving God and ministering to and for Him.
A few months ago, a good friend of mine had his wife’s bicycle stolen right out of their garage. And just her bike, nothing else. No tools. No ladders. No nothing. They had four bikes handing from their rafters and someone stole the most inconveniently located one. When he was telling me this, I felt it simply had to have some prophetic and spiritual significance. The scenario was just too random to think otherwise. I have some ideas of what it may mean, but it would take too long to type out.
Anyway, those are just a few examples of insights I glean from random life events. There are a lot of others.
Such events are deemed “prophetic” because God can speak to us through them. Prophecy isn’t just about the future; prophecy is, at its most basic level, a communication from God. God had the prophets of old use all sorts of bizarre situations as object lessons for His people, such as preaching naked (Isaiah), marrying a prostitute (Hosea) and having a king strike the ground with arrows (Elisha). These were “prophetic” acts that gave insight into God heart.
The insights I had into the above situations are entirely subjective, though. I don’t make decisions based on them or make “Thus saith the Lord” speeches based on them. I’m comfortable saying things like “I think God might be saying…” when talking to someone about these things, but I never put them on the level of inerrant Scripture. What God might say through a random life event will never conflict with his established Word.
All that to say: I encourage you to look for little things He might have to share with you throughout your days and seemingly random life events. Some might say I’m a little overboard with “finding God everywhere” or making something out of nothing. But if “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” as Paul says, how could we not run into God wherever we go and look. If He is “with you always, even to the end of the age,” how could He not have little things to talk to you about during everyday life? Don’t you and your friends have random observations about life you share with each other from time to time? Just some food for thought.
Oh… and if you’re wondering what lesson I pulled from this morning’s hot water affair: Well, we all know that we’re to be “hot” for the Lord. He’s an All-Consuming Fire (Heb. 12:29), after all. He’s also Living Water. Aand since He’s in us, “out of [our] heart[s] will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). I felt the fact that the hot, gushing water could not be turned off was a good sign–that as I continue to draw near to Him, He’s birthing from within me uncontrollable hotness for Him and will gush it out of me for His praise and the blessing of others.
Taking it step further: I could only stand in the water that was accumulating in the tub for a little while. Eventually, because it was the hot water that was not shutting off, I had to get out of the tub, lest I scald my feet. It was getting really hot! The hot water had overridden the lukewarm water in the tub and made it hot.
It feels good to soak and relax in hot water for a while, but if it continues to increase in temperature, you have to get out. I feel that’s a decent prophetic picture of where the body of Real Life Ministries. For almost the last year, we’ve been enjoying a good, long soak in the Holy Spirit’s warm bathwater, being cleansed and refreshed by Living Water. But hot water is continuing to pour in. The temperature is rising. And it’s going to cause us to go out. We aren’t going to be able to ramain in the safe, cleansing confines of our tub much longer.
So, I’ll commit to being one who always releases that hot water.
* Just an FYI: I hate any faucet that has separate hot and cold controls. All the faucets in my apartment work that way and I just think it’s stupid. I suppose it’s cheaper… but it’s still stupid. Who wants to have to balance two sources of pressure and temperature when they could both be controlled at once? Realize, though, that I am thankful for instant access to water.