The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple [Psalm 119:130].
All I managed to do was strip the bolts.
I was trying to change the deflated tires on my hand truck. Inflating them was pointless as they were old and well past their usefulness. A local hardware store advertised tires for a relatively low price. So, I set to work in the garage, in the limited space between the two cars. It would be a quick job, right? Unscrew the bolts, replace the wheels, and screw the bolts back on.
Unfortunately, there was little light to clearly see what I was doing. Regardless, in my “blindness” I pinched down hard with two vice grips and strained with all my might. When the vice grips kept slipping off, I got angry at whoever put the bolts on so tight. Who would do such a thing?
When a friend rolled the dolly into the daylight and began working on it with far better tools, I could immediately see the problem. What I thought were bolts were actually the ends of the solid axle. The wheels were held on by one-way retaining washers and push nuts, not bolts! In all my strength and effort, and blindness and lack of understanding, all I managed to do was scar up the ends of the axles. When we finally removed the washers, we also had to sand down the results of my previous misguided efforts.
It reminded me of how I sometimes try to “fix” the broken or hurting areas of life without the direct light of God’s Word and the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. No matter how sincerely or passionately I try, all I end up doing is frustrating myself and creating more work by the damage caused of trying it in my own strength.
Oh, but when I have the direct light of God’s Word shining, He reveals the source, cause, and remedy of the problems. When I look into “the perfect law of liberty” and continue in it, and am not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, then my attempts will be blessed [James 1:25].
Thank God for His unchanging, enlightening Word! By allowing God’s Word to enter my heart and mind, it enlightens me. The Holy Spirit then can do His work without stripping my spiritual bolts.