In the real estate business, we see a lot of do-it-yourself projects that we snicker and say, “It looks like Melvin’s been here!” Melvin refers to the one who doesn’t pay a professional because they can do it themselves! Sometimes they do a great job, but many times, not. I remember when I was a single mom for about 4 years and had no money for much needed repairs at times. I took on projects such as fixing a washer, a dryer, a toilet a couple of times, plumbing under the kitchen sink, and I even single-handedly killed a snake in my basement! The key words in the last sentence were, took on. You see, my projects didn’t always go as planned.
My favorite phrase as a single mom was, “I don’t need no stinkin man.” So when I was in trouble, the first thing I did was try to take care of it myself. We had a company in town that you went in and told them what was wrong with your dryer, for instance. They had a dryer on display and would tell you what part you needed to change and demonstrated how you should do it. I was so proud the day I saved a service call and totally got my dryer up and running all by myself. So, when the washer went out, I was confident I could fix it too! That one, however, didn’t go so well. Luckily, my neighbor came down and pulled the part into place that I didn’t have the muscles to do. I almost had it!
I was also very proud when our light in the bathroom quit working when you turned on the switch. I thought to myself, “It must need a new switch,” so I went to Lowe’s and got a new one and promptly came home to replace it. The one thing I hate, though, is a lot of detail. When I started pulling the old switch off, I quickly realized there were way more wires than I expected, but went ahead and pulled them off the old and hooked them onto the new. It worked! I could get the lights to come on and was very happy.
I remember though, when I started dating my soon-to-be husband Jim, he came in and went to turn on the bathroom light. He hollered out, “Is there something wrong with your bathroom light? It’s not coming on!” I hollered back from the kitchen, “Turn on the light in the hallway and then turn on the bathroom light and it will work!” My system hadn’t been totally perfect but I was just so happy to have a light in the bathroom, it was OK for me that I had to turn on the hall light first! Just a minor inconvenience, I thought! At least we were no longer showering in the dark!
Reflecting on these scenarios, I felt that I was doing the right things. I was collecting the facts and then taking action. However, it seemed that time and time again, even though I knew what to do, I was having a hard time making it happen. Like the time when I pulled out the plumbing under my kitchen sink, only to find out I had no idea how to put new stuff in since the things I could purchase weren’t the right sizes. I had to call a local church to fix that one. They had a ministry that had people in various lines of work that would help single women do fix-its for free. Talk about humbling; the guy who came to fix it brought his wife. She was one of the secretaries that worked in my ex-husband’s office. I’m sure she went back and told everyone about me needing their help. I so wanted to be self-sufficient and it panged me to know they now knew I wasn’t. There’s that ugly word, pride.
Isn’t that how it is in our Christian walks at times? We have the head knowledge—we know what the Bible says to do. However, we often don’t seek the Holy Spirit’s help to help us implement our plan. Often our pride gets in the way. We get into situations in life and only when we have things all torn up like my kitchen sink, we stop and ask for the Lord’s help to get us through. It should be just the opposite. We should always know the “instruction manual” or Bible, but without the Holy Spirit’s strength and guidance we will often end up in a mess! We should always seek His help even when we think we know what to do. Sometimes we can limp by like I did with my light switch, but eventually; being hooked-into the wrong power source can be disastrous! I could’ve literally burnt my house down with my solution!
My garage was in my basement at that time too, and one day I went to the laundry room just about 10 feet from the garage door entrance, and there on the floor was a little snake slithering around! It was a Saturday night and I was home alone. I screamed but it didn’t do any good. The snake was still there. I am petrified of snakes so I started calling all of my male friends trying to find someone who would come rescue me. They were too busy or just as scared as I was and as I hung up the phone after my last try, I knew I had to do it myself. “I don’t need no stinkin man,” I muttered as I devised my plan. I got an empty box and filled it full of books and proceeded back to the laundry room. Thank goodness it wasn’t a very active snake and had stayed in one place. I set up a chair in the room and proceeded to climb onto the chair with box in hand. I knew I was going to have one chance, so I carefully held the box directly over the snake and then dropped it on him. Boom! I was afraid to remove the box because I wasn’t sure if I actually killed him or if I just stunned it. After a while, I bravely removed the box and quickly swept the non-moving body up into a trash bag and ran it out to the trash as quickly as I could in case it woke up! I was victorious!
That day though was just another reminder. I can’t put my faith and hope in man (or woman for that matter!) All are human and will let me down, even in my greatest time of need. However, I can trust God to be faithful and to hear my pleas for help in my time of need. He might not give me answers as I would expect, but I can know He hears my call and responds accordingly to my best interest. He doesn’t tell me He is busy or that my problem is too big for Him to handle. Rather, He is there, waiting for me to ask for His help.
So in summary, if we can know God’s Word and ask for His Holy Spirit to give us strength and guidance, we need not be afraid. We can live victoriously with the assurance that when we depend on God fully for everything in our lives, He is faithful to be there in our time of need. I may not need no stinkin man, but if I ever thought I didn’t need my loving God, I am in big trouble. Thank you, Lord, for being there in my times of need. Please remind me daily of my need to ask for your Holy Spirit’s guidance and strength in my life. Help me to remember that even when I think I know it all, I still need you! It is great to know, I can always count on you! All I need to do is ask!
Proverbs 3:6 (NKJV) In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Joshua 1:5 (NKJV) …as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.