Yesterday I told you about the Shared Strength of Salem to help Charis get down the hill sledding (see link). It is a beautiful story. And I explained how the beauty of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit rang out loud and clear in the picture of the girls working together.
But while my family was having a fun snow adventure, I was away on a planning retreat. And instead of sliding down snow covered hills, I sat in a Walmart parking lot with a dead battery. Did I mention that is was freezing? Or that I had come out on a “quick errand” and had on sandals in 23 degree weather?
While I was sitting in my car, I asked the Lord why this was happening when we were trying to accomplish so much. “This is such a huge distraction,” I told my friend Lyschel, who was with me. But then a completely gracious guy from Walmart came to help, and I started seeing a different picture.
When you turned the key all the lights came on and even the radio. But no engine starting.
(How many of us are like that? Lights on but no ability to move.)
So he hooked up a battery pack. No go. Not enough power. Then he got his pickup truck and we hooked up jumper cables to his running vehicle. As I saw him attach red to red, back to black, I thought about how he was giving his power to me. (See it coming?) He was sharing his strength with me. But although we still had lights on, there was not enough juice to turn the engine over. Go figure.
(Do you ever think you are doing all the right things, but still not getting the results you want or in this case, desperately need?)
Despite the God word picture, I was beginning to get really frustrated, so I called on the big guns. I called Chuck. His instructions were crazy. “You two walk to the nearest restaurant and I will take it from here,” he said.
“Don’t you need me to stay with the jeep? Or help you?” I asked.
“No, stay on track. Don’t get distracted, stay on course with your meeting and your plans. I will get it fixed.” He was so my hero.
Without belaboring the point, here is the rest of the story. We didn’t need a new a battery. The battery had to be taken out and charged for 30 minutes and then replaced. It started the engine like a charm. In the meantime, we finished a very productive meeting and were back on the road to our retreat center. Not our original plan, but a good result nonetheless.
Here are my takeaways from this funny little God exercise. As Christians, we don’t need a new hearts. We need time to stop and recharge. Sometimes we have to tap into strength outside ourselves, but the strength has to be great enough to get the job done. You may need a book, a friend, or a personal retreat. But when you are really dead, it takes a much greater power to replenish your needs. That would be dedicated time with The Power Source. Almighty is His name.
One of the hardest lessons was asking for help. Sometimes you have to let someone else do the fixing. You carry on with what you have been told, even if it is outside your plan. You keep going but you trust that God is working, even when your hands aren’t on it. “Nothing thwarts the plans of God,” declared Job. God is our ever present help in time of need.
Just now Itunes is playing a song by Chris Tomlin:
All of You
is more than enough for
all of me
for every thirst and
You satisfy me
with your love
and all I have in you
is more than enough