I am a fixer-upper.
Once I spot a project I love sorting through a multitude of possibilities for revival, acknowledging the obvious problems, and offering solutions: even searching for those more hidden issues that require specific resources and creativity to remedy. I love the thrill of seeing something neglected now cherished, the transformation of what others see as hopeless becoming extraordinary; seeing what seemed worthless become invaluable.
I am NOT Joanna Gaines, although I do enjoy watching her creativity at work. While I do love a good physical fixer up, I’m a spiritual fixer up. Yep, I confess. My desire is to “FIX” everyone’s problems. And that’s not necessarily a good thing. I was squarely reminded of that during my morning devotional. Hear the WORD.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do
and He will show you which path to take.
7 Don’t be impressed with you own wisdom.
Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
Proverbs 3: 5-8 NLT
How easy it is to think that I can handle it all; even that God wants me to figure out not just my problems, but everyone else’s problems! He gave me this mind and the ability to reason – so SURELY He wants me to use it doesn’t He?
First of all, in these four short verses, he is clearly talking to me, instructing ME what to do with MY life – MY problems. It’s even written in the first person, “(YOU) trust, (YOU) seek, he will show YOU . . .” In this case, when I read the word YOU, He’s clearly speaking to me about me. And that one understanding changes a lot of things. Because my first responsibility to God is My walk, MY faith, MY understanding, MY problems, MY relationship with Him. I cannot have a positive Christian influence on the lives of others until my relationship with God is in the right place.
That means in all cases, situations, dilemmas, in every moment; I must TRUST that regardless of what it looks like now, I can trust that God IS in control and can use any situation to glorify, honor and expand his kingdom – not mine.
There’s the second rub. So whose “kingdom” am I really vested in – HIS or MINE? Those words hurt. It is easy to read, study, pray, intercede, and share our ministry(ies) for God. But that’s it – are they MY ministries OR God’s? Yes, He calls us each to various opportunities to serve based upon our gifts and talents. Sometimes even in spite of them! I must never lose sight that they are HIS ministries NOT mine. When they become MINE, I begin to trust my understanding. I depend on My own logic and ability and then I do things I THINK – through my own reasoning, not through seeking his will, that He wants me to do.
I may not be doing anything wrong , I just may not be doing what HE is calling me to do. Perhaps I miss his opportunity because I am too focused on my own plans. Maybe he has someone else in line for an assignment, a GOD moment or a ministry but because (do I dare say this) I don’t “TRUST him completely,” I jump in to try and FIX the situation. Even if it is someone else’s situation! Yes, it may impact me, especially if it’s family or close friends. But I cannot change anyone’s heart. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.
So what is my role in these tough situations? Our scripture makes it rather clear.
- WHOLE-heartedly TRUST in God that in all things his wisdom, judgment, discernment, plans and outcomes are infinitely better than anything I could achieve.He is the Creator, I am merely the created.
- Submit my limited knowledge and understanding to Him and acknowledge to myself that I DON’T have all the answers (OUCH!) It’s not for me to rule the world, right every wrong, or fight every battle. WE are the body of Christ; an arm that is dismembered from the body accomplishes nothing. In fact it will wither and die.
- Seek God’s will in EVERYTHING; and be prepared that on occasion His will might just be for me to stay out of it. Then, lay my petitions at his feet and stand until He says move.
- Because, “He will show me which path to take.” And sometimes it’s very different than the one I want to take. Sometimes I want to see more action, so I try to create it on my own. But He will show me the right path, if I wait for him and don’t run ahead.
- In the words of my granddaughter around age two, ” You worry ’bout youself!” Instead of trying to be the fixer upper for everyone else’s life, instead of worrying about what I cannot change nor control – TRUST GOD and in turn I “will have healing for (my) body and strength for (my) bones.” Ever worried over a problem, person, or conflict until you were sick? How about sleepless? Maybe anxious? How about being so preoccupied with it that you could see nothing else? Maybe not even an opportunity that God made available to YOU.
Tough stuff. These four verses are brief, but power packed with wisdom – Godly wisdom. And isn’t that where we are to begin; “Trust in the LORD with ALL your heart.”
Be encouraged. While these words may seem harsh; they sure did as they penetrated my heart. They are words of hope, love, encouragement and PROMISE. We are not in this alone, these burdens are not for us to shoulder alone. “His load is easy, his burden is light.” Too often the reason we are burdened is because we choose NOT to lay it down.
Thank you, LORD, for this powerful reminder that you are God and I am not. Help me be aware of those things that you desire that I fix-up and to leave the spiritual restoration to you. Remind me that you are the God of reconciliation, restoration, purpose and hope. Your plans are for good, not evil. I am your willing servant.
“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Johns 10:10 NIV