I’ve not been posting lately because of time. Ministry has been busy (the good kind of busy) and home time until yesterday has been taken up by an unexpected problem. Our minivan is getting old. It’s held up well…in spite of a hail storm attack a couple years ago…but it does have nearly 130,000 miles and is nine years old. Yeah, it ain’t too stylish, but it gets the job done. However, when the yearly inspection time came, a few problems surfaced. I knew it needed a couple of small repairs that I took care of beforehand, but as it turned out, there were deeper problems. The tie rods and the tie rod ends on both sides were showing enough wear and tear to warrant replacement, and the rear brakes (which I knew were coming up for service soon) were further down the road to oblivion than the brake-feel of the pedal signified. There was also a very minor leak in the power steering line, but that was a quick tightening of a clamp and nothing more. Basically, for the first time in my life, my car failed inspection (but it passed the emissions test!).
While talking to my mother the other day about what I was doing, she asked, “You know how to do those things?” If you know me well, you understand the question. I laughed and answered, “No. But I’m going to do it anyway.” I’ve got the manual, and I’m one of those rare creatures that actually reads the instructions. This is a bit nerdy, I suppose, but the learning process of it all is part of what I enjoy. It doesn’t hurt than it saved us $400-600 we didn’t have lying around extra either.
It would be nice if all of life was that simple. Got a problem? Open up a manual and buy a few parts, sweat a bit, get a few scrapes on your knuckles, and wa-la! All is better. I’ve heard people try to relate to the Bible that way–like it’s a DIY manual for quick repairs. Got a sin problem? Turn to Such-n-such 3:12. Got temptations? Flip over to II Such-n-such 9:32. But that analogy breaks down quicker than Britney in rehab. Truth is, life is not DIY and the Bible is not a DIY repair manual. No, it’s much better. Instead of fooling me into thinking I can repair myself, it points me back to my Designer and Master Mechanic — the one who can not just repair us, but restore and transform us into what He intended us to be all along.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
II Corinthians 4:7-18 NIV