“Why won’t this stupid thing work???”
I had been so blessed when my friends gave me their old Playstation 3 video game console, even though the disc drive didn’t work. I’d heard that replacement parts were available online for cheap, and I’ve been known to do a bit of fix-up work on electronics before.
Maybe this time I could actually make it work!
I ordered the replacements. A neighbor and I disassembled the machine and removed the old parts. The new ones arrived a few days later and I installed them with great anticipation.
I re-fastened the dark translucent plastic cover and plugged in the thick black power cord. One switch, then the press of a button and viola! At least I hadn’t broken the whole thing.
Then I put the disc in the drive.
Gears and springs and servos whirred and clicked, stirring my hopes of success. A small green activity light flashed on the device, the progress icon on the television spun…and then froze. No DVD screen popped up. No amount of button-pushing made any difference on the menus.
There I sat, cross legged and nearly cross-eyed with frustration on the light gray carpet of my living room floor, pushing the eject button again and again… to no avail.
There was no denying it. The disc was stuck.
Have you ever felt your life was like that?
Maybe you saw areas that needed to be different and you made big changes, only to discover things were still broken after your attempted repairs. Maybe you took things apart yourself, only to put them together again with no improvement.
Maybe you waited and waited, tried again and again but no matter how many times you pushed the buttons, you didn’t get the results you so desperately wanted.
There was no denying it. You were stuck.
For my Playstation 3, I knew only one thing to do — take it apart again. I pulled the plug, pulled the screws, and piece-by-piece removed the barriers to the goal until at last the disc was free.
I fiddled a bit, jiggled a few pieces, put it all back together and prayed as I tried one more time…
And it worked.
It’s easy to give up on hope when we’re hurting. It’s easy to give up on God when it seems He’s allowing our life to fall to pieces again when we’ve tried so hard to put things back together.
Here’s the thing: only He knows how to fix the problem.
A good doctor knows that sometimes you have to re-break an improperly set bone so it can heal correctly. A good mechanic knows that sometimes you have to strip an engine down to rebuild it well enough for another go. And even a terrible electronics repairman like me knows that sometimes the best thing to do for a machine is just to take it apart and put it back together again.
So it is with us.
Sometimes we may feel like God is angry with us because He’s allowing circumstances into our lives that hurt more deeply than we think we can stand. We may feel He is punishing us for some failure by breaking into pieces those things we tried to rebuild.
But maybe the breaking isn’t a sign of His anger, but of His love.
As you look at the broken places in your life, may you not despair and believe that hope is lost. May you know instead that if you’re a follower of Jesus, every season of being taken apart is done with this goal in mind…
To put you back together again in Christ.