The Source of the Stink

souce of stink

Nancy noticed a stink in her house. With closer investigation, her nose led her right to the kitchen sink. She knew the solution and took immediate action. She poured bleach down the sink, placed a lemon in the disposal, and added vinegar and baking soda for good measure. Hurrah! The stink went away . . . for a while. But soon the nauseating smell began to creep its way back. What happened? She took all the correct measures, right? While Nancy’s efforts were resourceful and imaginative, the smell never went away because she did not find the source of the stink.
With sheer determination and the nose of a bloodhound, she did not give up until she found the source.
Nancy reached into her sink and pulled out the rubber gasket that was the gateway for all the incoming food. Yuck.
Her plan of action changed as this time she soaked the rubber gasket in bleach to get rid of all the “gradew” that had been building up.
In the Gospel of Luke, we are told that Jesus tells a story to His disciples to show them they should always pray and never give up (Luke 18:1). Jesus often used stories involving every day life to SHOW them and TEACH them spiritual matters. I believe these experiential lessons still exist today where Jesus is our teacher and life is our classroom. I call this “RIDING TANDEM.” Jesus uses our circumstances to parallel or “tandem” what He is trying to teach us spiritually. And if we have the eyes to see from God’s perspective, we will quickly learn that life’s experiences will teach us life lessons.
For Nancy, the life lesson was found in the stink of her sink. Let me explain.
In the sweetness of her quiet time with God, He revealed to my friend that a certain fear was growing in her heart . . . similar to the stink in her kitchen. In order to remove this fear, she needed to find the source of the stink.
Her fear? She tended to worry when her children left the house. As they grew older and traveled to farther remote places, her fears grew, too, and the stink got worse.
To soothe her mind, Nancy would always tell her girls to text when they arrived and to call along the way. While these actions were calming, Nancy realized they only provided a temporary solution—like pushing a lemon down the disposal. The smell would disappear for a while, but the odor would soon find her heart again.
As a mother, I sure can relate to my friend’s fear and learn from her tandem experience. Can you?
Do you see how God used a REAL LIFE situation in Nancy’s life, to reveal the source of her stink: The fear of something bad happening to her girls? God used the stink in her kitchen to remind her that fears need to be surrendered and cleaned by the Word of God and His promises. He reminded her that His perfect love casts out fear. Her children are His beloved. He would take care of them. He had a plan for them. He loved them. She had to surrender control and TRUST that the Almighty had her babies in the palm of His hand. (1 John 4:18, 1 Thessalonians 1:4, Matthew 6:25-27, Jeremiah 29:11, Isaiah 49:16)
Riding Tandem is about having the eyes to see with God’s perspective. He uses our circumstances to teach us the spiritual lessons He desires for us. Our part is to enter the classroom of life with eyes to see and ears to listen. Okay. First assignment. It’s not called homework, it’s called lifework!
What is the stink in your life? Is it fear? Is it a broken dream? An unhappy marriage? Pride? Anger? An illness? A bad decision?
Take some time today and sit with God. We are told in Mark 6:31 that Jesus looked at His disciples and said, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
I have learned that these quiet places, where we sit with Jesus one-on-one, are the classroom environments where we learn the powerful healing of His Word. Notice it’s a quiet place. A safe place. A place for just YOU and Jesus. A place where His compassion can expose the fears in your life and reveal the sources of your stink.
Just as Jesus told his disciples to always pray and never give up. Just as my friend did not give up until she found the source of the stink. We, too, need to persevere in the power and presence of the Lord.
Find the source of the stink. You don’t have to use bleach, baking soda, vinegar, or even a lemon. The Word of God and Jesus is our perfect teacher and healer. Go often and clean your sink of your soul.
Dear Lord, thank You for the circumstances in our lives that teach us the lessons You need for us to hear. I pray that we would see today from Your perspective. I pray that we would surrender our fears, our concerns, and our worries to You. You are the perfect teacher. You are the perfect healer. I pray that we would do our lifework and persevere in this classroom of life. Thank You that we can ride tandem with You. Amen.

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