Several weeks ago when I walked down the hall and entered my writing office, I noticed a burning electrical smell.

We’d had lightning strikes nearby so I pulled down the attic ladder to investigate if our roof had been hit. I entered the attic, but there was no electrical smell.

I went outside and checked the perimeter of the house. Nothing seemed to be on fire.

As I walked back toward my office, once again the closer I got to it the stronger the odor.

I checked all the electrical plugs and ran my hand over the walls looking for unexplained heat in any area.

Everything seemed fine.

As I prayed, asking God to show me where the problem was, he directed me to the Mr. Coffee mug warmer on my desk I use to keep my tea hot.

Taa-daa. Culprit found.

The warmer was fried and emitted a powerful electrical burn odor.

My fault.

No. I didn’t leave it on too long.

I foolishly placed a glass of water on the warmer. Even though the warmer was off, condensation from the glass seeped into the heating element, shorting it out.

Yeah. Don’t do that.

As soon as I unplugged the warmer and threw it away, the toxic electrical odor disappeared.

I’m extremely grateful I was home when the warmer shorted and didn’t return home to find the house consumed in flames. I’m grateful I was persistent in seeking out the problem. I’m grateful God pointed me in the right direction to discover the cause of the problem. I’m grateful I was able to unplug the warmer and throw it away.

So after buying a new tea warmer, I thought about how God often alerts us to toxic situations in our life. It may not be as obvious as the odor emanating from a fried tea warmer, but he gives us signs to avert toxic situations which can cause grave consequences, if we’d only pay attention.

Toxic relationships? Unplug and throw away.

Toxic social media, computer, or television viewing? Unplug and throw away.

Toxic life habits that are killing us? Unplug and throw away.

I’m convinced if we pray and ask God to point out the toxic problems in our lives he will. After that, our job is to listen, do the hard work to root out the problem, unplug from it, and throw it far, far away.

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 You people who live in Jerusalem will not weep any more. The Lord is compassionate, and when you cry to him for help, he will answer you. The Lord will make you go through hard times, but he himself will be there to teach you, and you will not have to search for him any more.  If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, “Here is the road. Follow it.” You will take your idols plated with silver and your idols covered with gold, and will throw them away like filth, shouting, “Out of my sight!” Isaiah 30:19-22 (GNT)

I wish you well.


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