We’re inclined to approach life’s challenges with the tools we’re used to using. When things go wrong we pull out the Bible and read a few Psalms? My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
I used to own an old Mercedes Benz that would from time to time need some basic engine repairs. For the most part I was able to do much of the work on the car myself since these were the days prior to computer electronics. The car had a simple engine that occupied about 75% of the space under the hood, so there was a lot of room to work. I replaced the water pump, fuel pump, adjusted the carburetor, and changed the oil filter numerous times. All you really needed to do the work was a J.C. Whitney auto parts catalogue, an assortment of wrenches and some basic mechanical skills. However, the time did come when I had to adjust the valves on the engine. This involved removing valve covers and torquing the valve springs while listening to how the engine was running. For this task I was out of my league and I asked Larry, an auto mechanic friend of mine, to help me. I had the specifications book for the car which did give me some idea as to how the engine should be tuned, and brought that to the garage. Larry looked at it but then set the book aside. I asked him if he would need the book at all. He responded with a shrug. “I do these things by feel and by ear. Don’t need a book.” I felt a little uncomfortable, especially since I personally put a lot of faith in the manual. Nevertheless, I stepped aside and let Larry work. You don’t bother an artist when he’s busy being creative and that’s what Larry inferred he was doing.
Larry was sufficient to the task without the additional assistance of the auto manual or me, for that matter. Watching him was like watching an artist as he finessed each valve until the engine was humming in tune with the crankshaft and firing order of the pistons.
Martin Luther wrote. God’s wonderful works which happen daily are lightly esteemed, not because they are of no import but because they happen so constantly and without interruption. Man is used to the miracle that God rules the world and upholds all creation, and because things daily run their appointed course, it seems insignificant, and no man thinks it worth his while to meditate upon it and to regard it as God’s wonderful work, and yet it is a greater wonder than that Christ fed five thousand men with five loaves and made wine from water. (Martin Luther, Day by Day We Magnify Thee.)
You and I are inclined to approach life and the many challenges it presents on a daily basis with the tools we are used to using. When things go wrong we pull out the Bible and read a few Psalms. When things seem impossible, we pray more often and harder. Perhaps attending a Bible class would be helpful, attending church more regularly or signing up for a Christian workshop? While all of these things are good things to do and need to be part of our lives, they do fall into the category of the auto manual. The manual is a helpful guide but a skilled mechanic is a step above and beyond the manual. God works, as Luther stated, in ways that we sometimes lightly esteem. That’s why we’re inclined to try to work at things on our own when life need fixing. God, however, is the artist when it comes to adjusting our lives, fine tuning them, and making them run well. God is sufficient to the day and we’re no more than a bag of bones with our meager spiritual tools when it comes to the real issues of living the godly life. Trust God to be the artist he is and life will hum in harmony as it was meant to be–just like it says in the manual.
We pray. Thank you Lord for sovereignly controlling our lives, even without us lifting a finger. While always remembering to read our Bibles, pray
, give thanks and worship, keep us mindful that these are responses to our faith and not fix it tools. Help us to make our relationship with you priority one, always relying on your will and power to tool our lives to spec. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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