As everyone knows, taking a cold shower is bad enough. One usually shivers his or her way through the terribly brief process. Indeed, “In and out” would be the best way to put it.
But when one is out of hot water, all sorts of other normal processes are also suddenly put on hold. White clothes cannot be washed effectively when there is no hot water. The dishes cannot be properly cleaned when the dishwasher cannot be run for lack of hot water. Nor can the kitchen sink be filled with hot water to wash them by hand. Indeed, most anything related to cleaning, sanitizing, or even cooking can also suffer a bit.
Given all this, let’s just say that we will be pleased when this day has come and gone. The repairman has been contacted and the appointment has been made. Hopefully, by the end of the day, he will have come and done his work; and the problem will have been solved.
As I have pondered this business of being out of hot water, I have obviously been reminded of all the issues that it can present. But this minor crisis has also brought to mind the consequences one can face when he or she is not out of hot water, but rather in hot water!
Indeed, the phrase "in hot water" has come to mean that someone is in deep trouble. And let’s be honest, life certainly presents us with many chances to find ourselves in such circumstances.
As I reflect back over my life, there have been many times when I have found myself in hot water. Some of these times were no fault of mine. One can simply wind up at the wrong place at the wrong time, as it were. We have all been there.
And yet, if I am honest, most of the times when I, myself, have wound up in hot water, it has been the result of my own doing. Whether it was getting caught in little white lies, about not having done my homework or not finishing my vegetables, or having transgressed in more serious affairs, such as something mean I either said or did to one of my sisters growing up, I learned early on in life that I often found myself having to face the consequences of my own actions.
The most tremendous set of consequences I have had to face has been the result of both something I did and did not do. The Bible tells me that I, like every other person, am a sinner. As the apostle Paul puts it in the New Testament book of Romans (chapter 3, verse 23): "Everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
Biblically, I am a sinner on two counts. First, I am a sinner by nature. I inherited this sin nature form Adam and Eve. The Apostle Paul again affirms this in his New Testament teaching in the Book of Romans, chapter 5, where he tells us in verse 12 that that sin entered the world through one man, Adam, and death through sin. Later, in verse 18, he tells us that just one trespass (by Adam) resulted in condemnation for all people.
But even if I had not been born with a sinful nature, I most assuredly would have brought one about on my own; for I am also a sinner by choice. To be certain, my predicament is great here. For I struggle with temptation and sin on a daily basis. This is also affirmed by Paul two chapters later, in Roman 7, where in verses 18-20, he says:
18"I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."
He concludes this passage (in verses 24 and 25) by asking and immediately answering one of the most famous questions ever posed:
24"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
I tried desperately to figure out how to fix my hot water heater. But alas, all my tinkering amounted to naught. So I swallowed my pride and asked for help. I have called in an expert. And He will surely do for me and my wife what we cannot do for ourselves.
Likewise, years ago, after getting myself into enough hot water in life, I finally concluded that I could not fix my own sin problem either. And in that matter, like the Apostle Paul, I called upon an expert - Jesus Christ – who fixed what none of us could otherwise fix.
As Paul so eloquently put it (in Romans chapter 5, verses 18-19):
18"Just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous."
And that, my friend, warms my heart no matter how much cold water the old world throws on me!