When Lisa and I purchased our RV in Hanover, Pennsylvania – we were told that there had been a leak in the used fifth wheel we were buying but we were assured that the problem had been fixed. When the first heavy rain hit our campground in Gettysburg, we knew immediately we had been lied to about the repaired roof. It was still leaking. Since that assignment in the summer of 2012, Lisa and I have battled the dripping water (which happens to be very near my head on my side of the bed – of course) and have had some success in curtailing the flow. But, after a period of time the drip returns and I, again, make another attempt at fixing the problem.
During a recent heavy rain here at Stone Mountain Georgia – I noticed our dripping menace had returned for another battle and I finally came to a conclusion. I cannot fix this problem. I surrender! I wave the white flag! I admit defeat!
Which leads me to another revelation – there are things in life that just can’t be repaired. Try as we might to fix that old problem in our life – whatever it is – it just will not go away. It may be our cross to bear. One of my biggest gripes with contemporary preaching is the common theme among many pastors and theologians (so-called) to guide people through a series of steps in order to “fix” their lives. Go into any bookstore and you will find row upon row of Christian books designed to help us fix certain problems in our lives. Weight loss, marital problems, child raising issues, money problems, dating difficulties – you name it and someone has the answers to how to fix it.
What is wrong with that? – you may ask. Nothing – except they go against everything I believe about our fallen nature and unfixable, broken lives. Our only redemption is that of the perfect savior standing in our place – being us for us before God who demands perfection. The truth is I cannot get it right. I continue to fail, continue to mess up, continue to say the wrong things, do the wrong things. If I was not so sure of what I am about to say – I would be convinced that I am the only failure in the world. But (here goes) we are all failures and screw-ups. And we will never get it right. Never!
If buying one of those books and working through the ten steps to peace of mind or financial freedom or developing that perfect marriage helps you – by all means go for it. But chances are by now you have already failed at that New Year’s resolution you made and chances are by the time you get to the end of the book – you will have already forgotten those first two steps and will have to start all over again. But, don’t lose heart Brethren! I am a failure too. But here is the good news – God knows it and did something to fix us. He declared us perfect. With our lives hidden in Christ and in His finished work – we can proceed to honor that gospel in the way God commanded in the scriptures – to rest in the Lord. Give up trying to fix yourself and allow God to love and forgive your brokenness. Now I said it. Whew – I feel better.
In the meantime – I hear another ‘drip-drip-drip’ coming from that leaking roof again. “Lisa! We need more towels!”.
Peace – Steve and Lisa