Needs repair and maintenance

My car is making a noise.  When I brought it to my mechanic for an oil change he had told me about it.  I told him to just change the oil and I would bring it back when I had the time to fix it.  A week of so later another noise joined the first one.  I asked my mechanic about it and, after listening to it in the parking lot, told me he would need to take it in for a day to find the problem and fix it.  I told him that I couldn’t leave him my car for the day because I needed it, and I left.  Two weeks later I found myself in the breakdown lane, smoke coming from the hood of my car and engine fluids dripping onto the ground.  When I pulled into the garage lot of my mechanic with my car hooked to a tow truck, he shrugged as if to say “You should’ve left it with me.”

Most of us are smart enough to listen to the mechanic the second time.  We are willing to trust the mechanic to fix the problem with the car.  Most of us are not willing to do the same with our personal problems and inner conflicts.  We are not willing to hand over control to God.  We are willing to tell Him what is going on, and ask Him to fix other people’s problems that are causing our problems.  We seem to want to keep ownership of whatever is hurting us the deepest.  We do not want to let go.

I wouldn’t go to an auto parts store, buy a book, find the symptoms in the book that match the symptoms of my car, buy the parts and go to work in my driveway or garage.  I can’t.  I can fumble around, remove some things and then put them back wrong, and my car will be worse off than it was when I started, when I put my unskilled hands into my engine.  The problems with my car are far beyond my talents to fix it.  And ignoring the whining noise from car will not make it go away.

That’s how I approach my inner struggle.  I try to ignore my problems first.  When they continue to persist, I go to my nearest Christian book store, find a book that addresses my problem the closest and perform some self therapy: “If I change my thinking this way or avoid going here or do this differently then I will have solved my problem.”  It never works, no matter how many times I try, it never works.

I need to go the only Mechanic who can fix my problem.  No, he won’t fix me.  He will do much more than that.  I need to relinquish ownership of whatever is causing me to fail and trust it to my Heavenly Father and the healing work of the Holy Spirit.  I need to stop fumbling around in His area of expertise, which is the healing of my sin and the power to overcome my weaknesses, and the victory over the problem that is ailing me.  Trust in Jesus.  It is so cliché but it also so true.  Trust in Jesus.

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