A few years back I got a call from my youngest daughter telling me her dishwasher wasn't working. She asked if I could come by and find what the problem was. She mentioned that when there was a power outage, as was the case, the breaker in the electrical panel would have to be reset, solving the issue. This time it didn't work.
When I got there, I did the usual diagnosis of determining the closest point where power was interrupted. It turned out to be the switches on the wall. As I pulled the switches out of the wall, I found one loose wire and one that had come completely out of the terminal. Having reconnected these, the dishwasher still didn't work. Eventually, I discovered that the micro-switch on the dishwasher door would not engage if the door was not completely shut (though it appeared to be).
When I informed her the dishwasher was now working, she asked me what the problem was. I could have pointed out any one of those things, but honestly it was all of them; a compound problem. Two of the wires may have been close enough to make contact if the electricity was able to jump the gap, and the micro-switch may or may not have been engaged. If electricity has to 'jump' to make a connection, there is always a possibility of a fire. If the micro-switch had not been engaging, I would have never gone to the wall switch to discover the other potentially dangerous conditions.
I thought about how, as Christians, our own problems can be very similar. The troubles that are evident on the surface often times consist of other hidden dangers we aren't even aware of. Without the fellowship of others, we may not recognize the underlying spiritual issues beyond the obvious present struggle. Apart from other believers, our vision is severely limited and our focus extremely narrow...and that is by Design.
This is one of the blessings we reap when we fellowship with others in the faith. Hebrews 10:25 tells us, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." The body of Christ manifests its intimacy with Jesus through Spiritual fellowship (Matthew 18:20). As we confess our hearts and pray for one another, the depth of our struggles will be revealed and the hidden work of the enemy exposed.
So...why isn't your dishwasher working?
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."