Thursday proved challenging, like a leftover Monday that didn’t get its last dig in before the day’s end. By nap time I was desperate for an excuse to get outside and let off some frustrated energy. My husband usually push-mows our little lot, but we’d both had colds all week and the day prior he’d pulled a muscle in his neck and shoulder. He doesn’t like his wife to be “out there mowing,” but I assure him that it’s an enjoyable necessity for me, so he concedes the task at times.
Having pulled on my old tennis shoes, sequestered to the garage in all their grass-stained glory, I finagled the mower out to our driveway. I pulled the cord, and the machine roared to life…for about two seconds. And then it died. We repeated this pattern a dozen times before I called my husband at work.
“Is there a choke or something?”
“No, it’s all automatic. Just give it a couple minutes and see if it works. Otherwise, don’t worry about it, Pal. You don’t need to do that.”
I told him I wanted to, and by that point, I really wanted to. I needed to feel like everything in my day hadn’t ended in failure or frustration.
I let a few minutes pass and tried to mow again. Same issue: spark of life and then death.
“God, please, I just want to mow the yard. I want to do this for my husband and I need to do this for myself. Please, I need to feel sufficient here to do this simple task.” Honestly, my prayer probably wasn’t that eloquent. It was more along the lines of “God, please make this stupid thing start.”
I went inside and pulled up videos on similar problems. Turns out the carburetor needed cleaning. Now, before you label me a Rosy Riveter, understand that the left part of my brain doesn’t really function that well. Mechanical work of any kind is as far removed from me as Pluto. Call it inspiration; call it desperation, but after watching some 60-year-old mechanic detail how to clamp off a fuel line and remove the filter and take apart the carburetor, I got this wacky idea, “I can do that!”
I had to rummage through my husband’s toolboxes to find just the right wrenches, clamps, and wire (actually, I ended up using an unbent paper clip at one point), and a roll of paper towels. I crouched on the driveway, purple rubber cleaning glove on, and step by step willed my hands to follow what my brain had registered.
Thankfully, I didn’t destroy the mower and managed to put it all back together again. And even more miraculously, it worked! It started up and stayed going.
Turns out God did answer my prayer. He did give me what I wanted: some success and encouragement. But, He also asked me to risk a little more, persevere a little longer, and reach beyond myself a little more.
If the mower hadn’t run, He still would have answered my prayer, because He sustained my spirit through it all. When I was dealing with heartache earlier in the morning, I asked the Lord to first off keep me calm and to grant me wisdom for the challenges I was facing with my kids.
Does He give us victory? Absolutely. But sometimes the “trophy” looks much different than we anticipate, for He is more concerned with our character than our comfort. Our God isn’t here to be our quick-fix Genie. And sometimes the wins won’t come until we face the other side of eternity. But, he does promise us success and victory... one sweet day.
For a little inspiration for your Friday, watch Yolanda Adam's nail it on Jimmy Fallon.
Colossians 1:11-12 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.