Way back in the early 80’s, Jane and I owned one of the original Honda Civics. It was a small brown two door hatchback, 4 speed stick on the floor, exactly like the one in the photo. This was the first car we ever owned, perfect for a young couple with no kids.
One winter we had an unusually hard cold snap with snow that stayed on the ground for more than a week. (I know, you guys who live in colder climates are laughing; but remember I live in Georgia.) It was so cold, a lot of people just stayed home from work. (Stop laughing!) For some inexplicable reason, I decided that we needed to get the car started. Maybe I was hungry and thinking about groceries, I don’t know. But, it was so cold that the engine wouldn’t fire ……. at all. Not to be outdone by any cold weather, I asked a friend to help me start it.
Why we didn’t just heat up some water and pour it over the engine or put a lamp on it until it got warm is a mystery. No we had a better idea. A manlier idea. The plan was to jump-start the car. We pulled the car with a chain hooked to the back of his pickup truck, releasing the clutch and turning the ignition at the same time, attempting to force the car to start. We didn’t try just once and quit when it didn’t work; nooooooo, we kept on, over and over again. In the process we managed to break a piston rod. For those of you are not car buffs, let’s just say that’s bad. It would be sort of like breaking your leg.
Forcing something to happen just because you want it to doesn’t usually turn out well for anyone involved.
Proverbs 21:2 – NIV
2 A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
Proverbs 19:21 – NIV
21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Have you ever found yourself wanting something so bad you tried to force it to happen? You made your choices and moved ahead without considering what the ramifications may be? Like trying to start a car with a frozen motor …………?
I can only speak from personal experience, but when I push to get my way without praying about it, without talking to my wife first, without asking for advice from a friend, it almost always turns out bad. I may have the prayer memorized and I can say the words, “Thy will be done …..” but it doesn’t mean I live it and practice it as I should. Sometimes I’m being purely selfish; other times I’m just being stupid and only later realize how foolish my decisions were.
The better way to approach desires is to place them in the hands of God through prayer. We humans don’t have the wisdom and foresight to see what God can see. If the thing that we want is really important enough and if it falls into the category of God’s will, assuredly he will make it a reality. Anything outside of God’s purposes is doomed to fail.
So after you have prayed and given careful consideration to the outcome, it may be that your idea or desire is the best thing and God will permit it to happen. But if not, you can live at peace knowing that God had something better planned for you and ……… at least you didn’t wreck the engine trying to force it to start …….
Lift your mugs with me and let’s all commit to trusting God today to do for us what is best instead of forcing our own wills.