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The Time God Taught Me Something By Using An Unplugged Refrigerator

"Yeah, 'cause He's just that stinkin' cool. Get it? Cuz a refrigerator keeps things cool?" — a possible dad joke.

woman at the beach
Liv Nortillo

Yep. You read that right. A refrigerator.

Okay. Story time.

Every spring break, the college ministry at the church I attend in Waco takes a trip down to a town called Edinburg, Texas. It's close to the border of Mexico, and my three trips there have marked my walk with God and changed me forever.

Picture this: 400 to 500 college students spending an entire week on a mission trip/church conference all seeking after God and his heart from the people of the Valley, learning from incredible teaching pastors, speakers, and each other, and discovering more of Jesus.

It's truly an incredible week. I get excited just talking about it.

And let me tell y'all, Spring Break 2018 was truly one for the books.

Every year I've gone on this trip, I go to the wonderfully Texan HEB for groceries for the week with the rest of the students who have food allergies or sensitivities. I personally have to eat gluten-free because I have Celiac Disease (another story for another time).

Anyway, when I returned to the hotel the students stay at while in Edinburg, I put the food I had bought into my room's refrigerator. Earlier that day I had called the hotel office to let them know that there was an issue with the refrigerator. I told them I wasn't sure if it was on, and asked them to come and check it. I thought this had occurred earlier that evening before I went to the store. So, I figured it was safe to put my food in the refrigerator overnight even though it was not cold like it should have been when I got back from the store.

You might be able to see where this is going…

Well, I thought the refrigerator had been plugged back in by the hotel staff and was still just trying to get cold. So, I went to sleep not thinking anything of it and woke up the next day thinking my food was safe to eat.

After the trip's first session was over, we all went back to the hotel, and I made my lunch for the day - a turkey and cheese sandwich with sugar snap peas. Nothing too complicated.

But as the day progressed, I noticed myself getting an ache-y, solidifying feeling in my stomach (and for someone who went undiagnosed with Celiac Disease, I KNOW stomach pain).

Now, (and let me say this before I continue because I know some people are not this way) I believe firmly in the Holy Spirit and His ability to heal people of pain, sickness, and disease THROUGH the faith and belief of other believers. So, as I'm sitting on the bus headed towards the park that we're going to do outreach at, I tell some of my friends around me, who also believe in the Holy Spirit's ability to heal people, and they proceed to pray for me.

They pray for me a few times, and the pain is still there. BUT, I still believed that Jesus would do something and that my stomachache would go away. The day goes on and we go about our outreach, with my group staying around the area where we had found a bathroom earlier, just to be safe.

Later when we figure out the game plan for what we're doing next, we end up doing the drama that we had prepared for this outreach. I was the small team leader for the drama team this past year, portraying the part of the devil, have an acting background that goes back to when I was in 3rd grade, AND this was my second year on the drama team for outreaches, so I get REALLY into the drama and portraying my part well as a form of sharing the Gospel. But, I was feeling pretty badly at this point, so I prayed in my head and asked God to give me the strength and stamina to do the drama well and for His message to get through to those who were watching in spite of me and my situation.

The drama went well, praise God. The people watching heard about the love of Jesus, several people said that they were in need of healing and raised their hands for members of our section to find them and pray for them, and several other people there wanted to personally receive Jesus. It was a beautiful moment that I was so thrilled to be a part of. I had also raised my hand to receive healing from Jesus, because like I said, my stomach was still definitely NOT okay.

Several friends of mine, including a few from the drama team who weren't praying for other people at the moment, came over to pray for me when they saw my hand go up in the air.

They come over to pray for me, and after the first time, they pray for me the pain is down from a 6 out of 10 to a 3 out of 10. They pray for me two more times, and the pain is GONE.


PRAISE GOD that He STILL does miracles today!

I shared with my friends that the pain was gone, we all celebrated, and I stood up to look at my community ministering to people around me. It was truly a beautiful thing to witness, and to have been on the receiving end of physical healing from Jesus was amazing. It gave me faith for more to happen over the rest of that week.

Later that day, we all got back to the hotel, and I proceeded to go to my room to get my dinner for that night. When I got there, I noticed something rather important that I simply hadn't seen before.


I stared with my mouth agape, realizing that that's what must have caused the stomach pain – the cheese and turkey in my sandwich going bad overnight due to the refrigerator not being plugged in.

"Wow", I thought. "OK… well I am on a mission trip…so, hey God," I prayed somewhat jokingly, "got anything to teach me from this moment?"

"Actually, yeah, I do, Liv."

When I asked God this question, I honestly wasn't expecting the answer that I got back from Him. Essentially, this is what he said to me.

You can read my Word and try to absorb it all, listen to all of the teachings and take copious notes to look at years later, you can worship Me like you've never worshiped Me before, and you can experience My presence more strongly than you have ever felt before.

But if you're not plugged into my Holy Spirit, if you're not in tune with Me and not always connected to Me as your "power source" 24/7, everything you try to put into your mind and your heart won't stay good, or useful, or fruitful.

It won't stay good to be able to share with people because those things won't have been stored in a place that My Spirit has been invited to continually renew over and over and over again.

It won't produce fruit for the future because you won't know how to apply it if I'm not the one giving you the directions on how to utilize what you've absorbed.

Whatever you put in, you must take care of by remembering to ABIDE IN ME.

Ask Me, daily, what I have in store for you.

And I promise you, Liv, you won't be disappointed. You can trust me.

OOOO SHOOT. Y'all, that was a big, loud, massive church bells ringing kind of wake-up call for me.

Honesty time – I've experienced disappointment a lot in my life for a lot of different reasons that I won't go into right now. But the disappointment I've experienced has left a lot of scars and some old wounds that I've been slowly finding healing from for a long time now. God's been kind enough to give me the time and space to do this in the gap year that He's given me. However, trusting in God that He wouldn't disappoint me was terrifying when I had trusted in people many times before who ended up letting me down over the years.

Trusting that God was my safe place, no matter what, trusting that Jesus held my heart more securely than anything this world could, and that He WANTED to hold my heart safely, those realizations had me searching for my journal so I could chicken scratch them in so I didn't forget them later on the trip.

And, y'all, let me tell you. Trusting in God is not always easy, fun, or sensible according to the world's standards.

But it is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, worth it.

I have NEVER been let down by God. EVER.


And I trust the Holy Spirit to guide me, nudge me, prompt me, help me, and teach me, whenever that is, and whatever that may look like.

Even if that involves another kitchen appliance in the future.

I kind of hope it's my toaster next time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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