It started when I backed the car out, and the garage door clicker didn’t close the garage door. I pressed it again, and it closed, and I was on my way. The next day I had to be just at the right spot for the door to close. Then it wouldn’t close at all, making this comical dance of me hitting the wired switch inside the garage, running towards the descending door, ducking so as not to be hit by the door, while exaggeratedly lifting my feet over the invisible security beam that stops the door if something is underneath it. Janice watched that indignity too many times. She didn’t laugh, at least by the time I got in the car. Finally, the clicker stopped working in either direction.
So we went out, bought a new garage door opener, and decided to install it ourselves. There was one there before (only the electronics had gone bad), no broken pieces anywhere, and the dimensions of the new machine seemed identical to the old one— so, how hard could it be? It would be an easy job for somebody who has skills in this area or experience with it. But I have neither of those (what does Proverbs 27:12 say? “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”).
Off we started anyway. We got it all installed, wired and what not, and then found that the bar that goes from the unit back to the door was too low at the motor end. The garage door, right at the end, was rubbing against the bar. Now what? Again, the person with skills, or experience, would know just what to do (actually they would have figured that out earlier). But whatever, we had a problem on our hands.
There’s nothing a Dremel tool won’t fix. I tell you, next to duct tape and WD-40, there’s no more useful tool in the shed. We cut, trimmed, adjusted the supports, and wouldn’t you know, we ended up with a functioning garage door opener! It’s really quiet, but slow – I’m sure an expert would know what to do about that too. But no matter, I’ll just apologize Sunday morning when I’m 10 minutes late because I had to wait for my garage door to close.
Sometimes my life is like the motor of the garage door. Sometimes God needs to cut things out of it. Sometimes He needs to trim some things from the edges. Sometimes it’s just a screw loose (or two). Sometimes God just needs to adjust minor things, sometimes He’s got to get a spiritual Dremel tool and cut things. Those hurt sometimes.
When I think about the installation, the door didn’t fight back. The door opener didn’t fight back. Sometimes, on the other hand, we resist the adjustments God wants to make in our lives. Our lives are too pliable… willing to be tightened or shortened, sped up or raised, or whatever the change might be. The Bible is full of this imagery. From Proverbs (ex. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another) to Jeremiah (9:7 thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I will refine them and assay them) to Daniel (12:10 Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand) to John (15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit) the Bible recognizes the need humans have to be worked on, improved on, made more holy. This is what the theologians call Sanctification, and we are on that journey. May God find us willing and desiring to grow!
Enjoying the benefits,
“My son, do not take lightly the discipline of the Lord, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you. For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises every son He receives.” Hebrews 12:5,6