Down-home Parables

A Blog by Richard Wayne Fry

Life Lesson From A Battery

Yesterday my darling wife was going to run a few errands before she started work on a Christmas project she has going. She went out to the garage only to return a few minutes later with the unfortunate news that the car battery was dead.

I went out to the garage to survey the situation. I looked in one of the cells of the battery and there was no reaction taking place. Not a definitive sign by any means, but not good either. I went over to my tools and grabbed an old pair of pliers to span the two terminal on the battery. I barely get a spark, which is a sure sign the battery is kaflooey.
I figured I would just take the battery out and go get a new one at one of the nearby retail outlets. Wrong! As most of you are probably already aware, the newer cars are designed to entirely thwart the “shade-tree mechanics.” Gone are the days where you can do much of your own automobile maintenance. Now, even to change the battery, you must take your automobile to the dealer.

Here is where the lesson began. As I stood there feeling my frustration mounting, the words of James chapter 1 came to mind:

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. —James 1:2-4

I was now facing a situation where James tells me I should be “joyful.” Seriously? It was a situation non unlike all of us face on a regular basis. Perhaps not with the battery of an automobile, but there are countless other possibilities to confound us; dishwashers, laundry machines, computers, etc. At any moment something may arise unexpectedly, and in this particular moment, I allowed James’s words to penetrate deep inside my heart.

The key to avoiding anger and frustration was simply to be willing to alter MY plans. I had planned to do some studying and writing. My plans were being altered. I was about to lose my joy. But then I realized that all I really needed to do was be willing to change my plans.

In all of our zeal to “do” something for the Lord, we have a tendency to think that our plans are always cast in stone for the glory of the Kingdom, when in fact, only God’s plans are for the glory of the Kingdom. Even though our plans may not be wrong, or sinful, or even selfish, our immediate plans are not necessarily God’s immediate plans. Our plans must be susceptible to change if we are to be obedient. The big plan is that we follow God, and not the reverse. We are to conform our ways to his.

When Israel was three days from Egypt, they came to the waters of Marah. The plan was to get fresh water to drink, but what they were faced with a bitter water. Those pilgrims did not have the words of James to encourage them and to point their hearts in the right direction. They were frustrated and discouraged. They complained to Moses about their circumstance. God provided deliverance for them, but things would have been far better had they counted it all joy when they arrived at the bitter waters of Marah.

I thanked our heavenly Father for the opportunity to trust in him. I thanked him for the opportunity to set my own plans aside and to face this minor challenge with joy, and to let patience have her perfect work in me. All frustration vanished away and peace flooded over me. We contacted a relative who lives fairly close to come and give us a jump, after which we went to the dealer and got a new battery. Sure, we paid a little more for it than we would have had I been able to do it myself, but our Father supplied everything according to his riches in glory.

Thus endeth the lesson.
Richard-Wayne: Fry

Hebrews 2:10

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