“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
There is nothing that strikes fear in the heart of a parent the night before Christmas or a Birthday Party than the phrase “Assembly Required”. You can be sure that if it says some assembly required…there are No “Quick Fixes”. Translation: “Unless you have the patience of a saint, the IQ of Einstein and more tools than Sears – be prepared for FRUSTRATION!
At times, I think life is like that and should come with the warning “Some Assembly Required”. Max Lucado, in his book Before Amen, says “Life is a gift, albeit unassembled. It comes in pieces and sometimes it falls to pieces.”
I was a single mom with two teenage boys. I had just lost my job and as a result I had no transportation because the car I had been driving was a company owned vehicle. The pantry was empty and I had no money to buy groceries. I had asked God for direction and provision but it seemed that He was silent. Thumbing through the mail on my way back from the mailbox one day I noted a letter from my insurance company. I remember thinking, “Oh great, another bill that I can’t pay! What am I going to do?” Upon opening the envelope, I discovered a refund check for $250.00 that I had no idea was due me. Some would say that it was a coincidence, but, I know that it was a “God thing”. After all, His name is Jehovah-Jireh, the God who Provides. He knew my need and was at work to provide for it even though I could not see Him at work.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew how to deal with life’s unexpected challenges.
John 2:1-11 records the Wedding at Cana where Jesus changes water to wine. We can learn from her example what to do to assemble the pieces that life hands us.
- We learn about attitude – Mary wasn’t bossy – she just stated the problem.
- She didn’t try to fix the problem herself – she realized that she did not have the resources or skill to resolve the problem ..but instead she turned to the one who did.
- She didn’t blame Jesus…if You are really in control this never would have happened.
- She didn’t blame herself…it’s all my fault, I’m a failure as a friend.
- She did everything she was supposed to do – identified the problem, brought it to Jesus, left it with him. She trusted him completely.
- I think Jesus smiled – this wasn’t the manner or place He had planned to reveal His power, but, he wouldn’t turn His back on a genuine need.
The implications are clear.
- Take our problems to Jesus – don’t whine, complain or argue. Just lay them at His feet.
- Relinquish control – don’t try to solve it ourselves and then as a last resort take it to Jesus. We are to make Jesus our first resort.
- Don’t play the blame game…against ourselves or others.
- Leave the problem at the feet of Jesus..too often we bring a problem to Jesus and then pick it back up instead of trusting Him to handle it.
On the wall of my study there is a picture of Jesus that I love. It shows Him looking up at the sky with a big smile on His face. I can just imagine Him looking into the face of his Abba Father, raising His hand to give him a high five and saying, “Dad, Kay finally gets it. She can trust Me to put the pieces of her life together!”
Truth to Claim: God can be trusted to assemble or reassemble the pieces of my life when I relinquish control.
Application: Practice taking your problems to Jesus first and leaving them there.
Solo Deo Gloria