Perhaps that title implies a bit more drama than is absolutely necessary for the topic at hand. Over the last week, I’ve struggled with the issue of having a broken refrigerator and being at the mercy of my landlord to have it fixed or replaced. It’s just one of those annoying things that happens when you rent an apartment. For me, I hate to have to wait on anyone, including God, to fix the things that are broken in my life. I am very vocal about my discomfort and I tend to grumble. Even moreso, now that I’m older and less patient than I used to be. And, I say that not to make myself sound virtuous, but to affirm that what was in short supply already is nearing complete extinction with each day that passes. In any case, this past seven days was very difficult; starting with the first two days of throwing out food that was spoiling and progressing to the withdrawal and reappearance of the non-functioning appliance and finally to the delivery of a refurbished model that may or may not remain functional for a while.
If you know me, you know that I hate clutter. Although I have a certain amount of it in my home, I hated having additional clutter such as all of the once-refrigerated condiments and items from the top of the fridge stacked on my counters while I waited for a new refrigerator. My kitchen is about 8 X 6 feet. Most of that includes the stove and refrigerator. So, that gives you an idea of how much space I was working with. And having everything scattered about made it very difficult to cook or even attempt to make a sandwich. So, this week was a bit expensive and inconvenient, but somewhere toward the middle of it, I had to laugh. I had to laugh at the absurdity of being promised a new fridge only to have the old one brought back with the explanation that it had been repaired and should work. I think God had a good laugh on that one as well. Because sometime after they plugged it in, we noticed a burning smell coming from inside the fridge. Sure enough, the motor was burning out and it did completely die. Thankfully, I hadn’t bought more food yet, so I didn’t lose anything else.
Over the next couple of days, the landlord was working out a solution which ended up being the delivery of a used refrigerator. I have no problem with using a refurbished or used appliance. I’ve done this many times as I am not independently wealthy. But what was funny about the whole situation was that the day after the refurbished one was delivered, I got a knock at the door and there was a Lowe’s truck outside. I answered and the young man said that he had a refrigerator for me. I was puzzled, so I told him that there had to be a mistake. He checked and told me it was in fact, ordered by my landlord. However, when I checked with her, she said that it wasn’t actually supposed to be delivered. So, I was a little confused as to why there was so much effort put into bringing me a used fridge when she had already ordered a new one. But, at that point, I didn’t care. I considered the whole matter closed and was just thankful to have a functioning refrigerator in the house. Why did she order one and then go buy another one? I have no clue. Why would she prefer that I have the old one and not a new one? I also do not know. But, I also really don’t care. On to the next thing.
The last seven days were less than exciting. I reflected quite a bit on my tendency to vent rather aggressively and on my level of faith that God would fix the problem. I was fairly certain that it wasn’t the end of the world. But I tend to work very methodically on just about everything, so having a wrench such as a broken appliance thrown into the works was unsettling. It pulled my focus away from the things I still needed to focus on to get through my week. And I don’t like that. I started worrying too much about how to create solutions when it really wasn’t in my control to do so. And as such, I wasn’t as productive in my walk as I would have been if nothing had been wrong. How often do we do that in our walk with God? A small stumbling block appears and all of the energy and momentum that was moving us forward stops and shifts toward removing the obstacle while the overall task is neglected. If you’re like me, this happens to you quite often. No matter how much you try not to get distracted, before you know it, the devil’s plan to throw you off course is active and more effective than you meant to allow it to be. Yes, we can always jump back in and get back on track once the immediate problem is resolved, but what do you lose in the shuffle?
I told you the story about the fridge simply to point out how the most mundane problems can consume us to the point where we forget that we have a much higher calling. We can become so preoccupied with fixing what needs only a bandaid that we completely miss the issue that needs stitches. Or worse, we just try to bandaid everything because we forget that not all problems are ours to fix and we are spread so thin that all we have is the ability to stick a quick solution to the problem and move on to the next one. And we really think we’re doing something, but really we’re just wasting our bandaids.
When we finally get back to the real mission and we need to be thinking more strategically and applying a more permanent solution, we have become so used to applying bandaids that we simply patch up all the holes and hope that the patches will hold until we have enough (energy, time, resources, etc.) to fix it properly. Right before we reach that point; that is where we need to let go and let God do what He does. Let Him handle the obstacles in our path (save your bandaids) and keep pressing on toward the goal He has set for you. The devil has unlimited energy to follow us around and throw stones at us as we journey on, but we don’t need to stop and examine each of those stones quite so critically or apply any of our precious resources to those problems. We handle what is within our ability to handle and we continue working toward completing the tasks given to us by God, not addressing the surprises that are thrown at us by Satan.
I hope that makes some sense. I spent a great deal of energy trying to patch up all of the issues that were created by the broken refrigerator when I could simply have moved on without fretting and allowed God to shift what needed to be shifted until the new fridge reached me. But I tried to fix things my way instead and probably got in the way of His blessings. I was still very blessed, but I probably hindered Him a bit with my attitude and my lack of trust in His timing. I admit this. I do this from time to time. And I always regret not allowing Him to do what He needs to do first. One day, I’ll learn. I’m fifty, so I’m hoping it will be soon. But until then, I’m trying to remember to save my bandaids and seek out the greater tasks with clarity and strength instead of being baffled by the ridiculousness of the devil.
Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at email@example.com.
My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.
If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.