Icicles melting in the sun against the backdrop of a deep blue sky are beautiful, aren’t they?
At the same time, they pose a few dangers.
- They can fall on someone as they melt. Headache, anyone?
- Fallen icicles can create hazardous, slippery walking conditions on the ground below
- Knocking them off the gutter can damage the gutter itself
What Causes Icicles?
I know you were wondering the same thing, right? Here’s the answer to your question, so your wondering mind can fall asleep tonight!
The first step to building icicles is to provide a cluttered gutter. Leaves, sticks and other debris keep the watery snow melt from moving along, and it ends up freezing in the gutter. The more the ice builds up, the fuller the gutter becomes.
Where does this snow melt come from in the first place? The roof, of course! The sun shines on the roof, warming the snow. At the same time, a poorly insulated attic provides heat through the roof from the house below. The layer of snow against the roof melts and flows down to the gutter, where it refreezes as ice.
As the ice builds and backs up along the roof, it can create an ice dam. Bad news, let me tell you! As the ice dam melts and has nowhere to go, water seeps up under the shingles and along the roof beams into your house. Last year we had to replace the ceiling in our kitchen because an ice dam formed above the mud room (which has no attic space above). Whoever put the roof on that section of our house last didn’t put a layer of ice and water shield under the shingles.
I won’t get into how to fix this, as Google has a plethora of articles available to learn from. The short answer is to prevent heat from getting to the inside of the roof from the house below. The long answer involves many more steps.
What can we learn from icicles?
Icicle Life Lessons
1. Clean the Gutters!
Our spiritual lives can get quite cluttered from a ton of extras. Extra expectations of ourselves and others, extra worries, extra offenses, extra disappointments, extra guilt, extra, extra . . .
Do you know you don’t have to hold onto all those extras? There’s Someone willing to take them for you!
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.Matthew 11:28-29 NLT
He can teach you how to set boundaries on what you expect from others and from yourself, how to trust him with all the details of your life, how to let go of offense and disappointment, how to walk in forgiveness, and so much more.
Jesus came to give us abundant life, not abundant guilt and pressure. If you haven’t yet, I invite you to take him up on his offer!
2. Don’t Let Things Build Up
Do you suffer from “The Answer is Always Yes” syndrome? Or perhaps “I Wouldn’t Dream of Disagreeing” malady? Maybe you deal with a “Really, It Doesn’t Matter to Me” ailment.
If you adopt any of these as your identity for the sake of being nice and well-liked, it’s not going to lead to your happiness. Everyone around you may feel you’re the best person they know, but inside you may become bitter and resentful. If pushed too far, you just may explode and hurt those closest to you.
“How could they do this to me, always expecting me to do everything?”
Could it be because you never say, “No”? For such a short word, “no” can be awfully hard to say!
When you say “yes” to one thing, you say “no” to something else. For your own sake, it’s important to learn to stop, listen to God’s leading, and answer as He guides. His will is not always “yes”!
“Who Am I to Disagree?”
This malady comes from a lack of self worth. Do you know your value? I’ve heard that value is determined by what someone is willing to pay. My friend, a precious price was paid for your freedom. Don’t ever think you are worth less than what God says you are!
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.1 Peter 1:18-19
You are loved and you are highly valued. Yes, there are many, many things that are not worth wasting words on! But for those things that truly matter in God’s eyes, lean into his strength and speak his truths in love (Ephesians 4:15).
“Whatever is Fine.”
But is it, really? Will you eat sushi even though you abhor fish just to keep from rocking the boat? Will you go with the crowd tubing down the river even though you’re terrified of deep water and can’t swim?
Are you willing to be something you’re not in order to be accepted by others? That, my friend, is the same thing as lying.
The fear of rejection can be forceful, changing us into actors playing a role. If we play that role long enough, we begin to forget who we really are deep inside. Our relationships are built on lies, because no one gets to see the real us.
But one day, the facade will fall. How will our circle of friends respond when we finally speak up for ourselves?
There is Someone who already knows us and loves us for who we really are. There’s no need to hide our true thoughts and feelings. It’s a waste of time to even try, because he knows them already!
O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.Psalm 139:1-5
Putting it all Together
Icicles glistening in the sunshine are beautiful, but they signal hidden problems.
In our attempts to be accepted by others, we may appear to have the most beautiful hearts on the planet. Inside, though, there may be hidden dangers lurking that can hurt either us or those around us.
It’s time to be true to who God created us to be: highly valued and adored, walking in truth and the light of God’s love.
Lift up your head, friend! May you live to please him out of love, knowing that you are the apple of his eye!