When I was in college, you had the opportunity to take classes like “Applied Mathematics” and “Applied Life Sciences”, and there was even one that was “Applied Ethics” that was custom tailored to your degree track. The point of these classes was to take the skills you had learned over the course of your education and put them to us in the every day life.
Today, I had a lesson in “Applied Biblical Theory”. This, is Mabel:
Easter weekend, our old fridge completely died. This was by far our most expensive Easter ever, as we shopped to find the replacement. When the fridge arrived, my youngest daughter promptly named it Mabel. And, it was so.
Unfortunately for all of us, Mabel included, after a couple of weeks the ice maker would not longer dispense ice. For those who don’t know us well, my husband’s work schedule can vary from week to week, and we rarely know his days off too far in advance. On my side of the scheduling, having three kids in three schools can make it really hard for me to be home during the “service window”. Additionally, my husband and I both thrive, expect, and deliver efficiency in whatever we do.
Knowing all of this, we put the effort forth in diagnosing the problem ourselves. After working together on examining the functions of the freezer, and then doing some internet research in tandem… we hit gold. The auger motor was broken, that is what needed to be replaced or repaired at minimum. He took a day off from work, we scheduled the service, and we very clearly stated that the issue was the auger motor and it could possibly need replacement. Having the diagnosis and the prescription for the fix, from our view point, ensured that the repairman would arrive with all the parts in hand. Our freezer would be fixed that day, and everyone could go on their merry way. Our repair window was 9am to 12pm.
At 8am, our doorbell rings… which is right in the midst of our morning school routine. The repairman was here a total of thirty minutes. No freezer repaired, no ice dispensing. He came in, poked around the freezer and affirmed the part we suspected was broken. However he didn’t have one on the truck, would have to order the part, and would be back on Saturday. Saturday, when I already have plans. Which put my husband in the position to either ask me to cancel our mother’s day plans – or – to take another day off of work so that he could be home for it.
I’m not going to lie to anyone, I was pretty angry. From both of our perspectives, there was no reason for the repairman to arrive without the part needed. Fortunately for him, he was dealing with my husband and not me at that point. In fact, if there are customer service issues to deal with … usually hubby sicks me on the company. I wouldn’t have been as kind… and it probably would have resulted in this guy finding the part somewhere and returning today. But, I digress.
As I was mulling this over in my mind, after the repairman left and my temper began to cool, a thought struck me…
Is this not exactly what our relationship with God is like?
God hands us a book, full of His Word. The book diagnoses our problems, and then prescribes the correct part to fix it. You can use the index at the back of most bible to look up words like “anger”, “jealousy”, “adultery”, “gossip”, etc… and read the specific details of that sin when it is the broken part in us. His Word is faithful to not leave us in our guilt and shame, but to make a way for us out of that brokenness. God sent his Son, telling us: THIS IS THE PART YOU NEED TO BE WHOLE!
How many times do we show up to life without the one part that can repair, restore, and reconcile us… to each other, to Him?
We may try to fix the sin in our lives with our own means, lacking the tools He has given us. We may choose to fix this in our lives on another day, because we are not prepared to do it on this day. Or, we just don’t want to. We may not trust that God knows how to handle this problem and seek the counsel of others until someone else gives us the answer we want to hear.
And so we show up on Sunday, to God’s house… but we are lacking the right parts. We forget to bring: