Our lawn mower was recently out of commission for about 2 ½ weeks. It didn’t need a major repair, (the pull cord had snapped and needed replacing) but that was enough to take it out of service.
Predictably, with the warmer weather and gentle rains of spring, the grass (and weeds) in our backyard quickly grew out of control. Clif finally got the new cord installed this past weekend just in time for Jason to cut the lawn of a friend who pays him for the service. Since he hadn’t had any problems with the mower, I assumed that all was well. So the following evening I grabbed the machine, intent on quickly knocking down the overgrowth behind the house. (Sometimes I actually enjoy the exercise and solitude of mowing the grass!)
I filled the tank, checked the oil, primed the carburetor and pulled the cord… but nothing happened. Again. Again. Again. Nothing. I tinkered and adjusted everything I could think of and pulled over and over… always with the same result. In frustration, I finally gave up and sent Clif a terse text informing him that the lawn mower wouldn’t start again.
A short time later, he arrived home to give me a hand. He knelt down, gave the engine an examining once-over, adjusted some hidden loose bolt under the gas tank and then gave it a pull… it started up effortlessly!
Soon the weeds felt my wrath as I set out on my happy, self-propelled way, trimming up our neglected yard. It was so easy for Clif to fix the mower because he knows much more about small engines than I do, and thus knew exactly what to look for to identify and quickly remedy the problem.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. ~ John 14:26
Often, we as believers, see a job that needs to be accomplished and eagerly set out to achieve good and righteous goals in our own strength. When things don’t go as smoothly or quickly as we hoped or planned, we often double our efforts, once, twice, three times… often trying relentlessly until we collapse in exasperation or give up in frustration and futility. Finally in desperation, we call out to God for help and then stand amazed when He steps in and in His time, provides what we need to get things running smoothly.
You know, I would never have guessed that it was something unseen that was hindering the flow of gasoline from the carburetor to the engine, keeping it from starting. In a similar way, there are a myriad of unseen things that can hinder us from being spiritually productive … things that often we can’t possibly see or understand. But we can trust the Holy Spirit to expertly assess every situation correctly. Every time.
So, as you attend to your responsibilities today, eliminate unnecessary frustration and wasted time. Call out to your Helper first. Trust Him to help you get going and keep things running smoothly until the task is complete.