Google translate got me into trouble yesterday. I typed in the word “Bengali”, pulled out the response written in such beautiful shrift and pasted it into my document. It was to be the hyperlink to a document that a friend had painstakingly translated into Bengali, and I was seeking the word that represents the language of Bengali. Of course, I could have asked my friend for the translation, but I figured that for such a small thing, I could just figure it out for myself….
Fortunately I did have the foresight to have my friend review the entire document before publishing it on the web. It came back with just one error: The word I looked up! Apparently in Bengali, the word for the Bengali people is slightly different from the word that represents the language, and Google translate had given me the people word, not the language word….
I’m not really kicking myself for making this error. How would I have known that the words for the people and the language would be different in Bengali? I am, however, kicking myself, because the whole thing could have been avoided if I had just asked….
This error is so typical of me. I prefer to try on my own instead of asking for help. The result? I slog through most of my life, making error after error, most of which could have been avoided if I had just humbled myself and relinquished control of the problem.
Perhaps the worst part of all this, however, is that the One I tend to turn to the least is the One who could help me the most: God Himself! Doesn’t He tell us, “Ask and it will be given to you…” (Matt. 7:7a NIV)? Doesn’t Jesus’ brother say, “You do not have because you do not ask God…” (James 4:2b NIV)? Doesn’t the Psalmist tell us, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken…” (Ps. 55:22 NIV)? Doesn’t Jesus Himself tell us to: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” so that He can, “give you rest…” (Matt. 11:28 NIV)?
It’s true that I did give the translation job to my friend, and I only tried to translate one tiny word; but it was that one word that got me into trouble. So often we do give our problems to God; but isn’t it often the case that we still try to resolve them on our own? We beg God to help us sleep, but then we take a sleeping pill. I’ve done this so many times. Funny how those are the nights the sleeping pill doesn’t work at all…. Or maybe I’ve given the poor choices my kids make to God; but then I proceed to “lecture” them on the subject via text/email/phone call…. Guess what choices don’t change? Or perhaps I pray and ask God to provide me the time for all that needs to be done; but then I stay up late, get angry if anyone disturbs me, push people aside…. Guess what I don’t end up having the time to do?
It’s true that God sometimes uses people, medication, etc., to accomplish His purposes; but when we give something to God, we must be prepared to only act when He specifically tells us to. Otherwise, it’s like me putting Bengali into Google translate. It comes out all wrong! Is it for nothing that the world’s wisest man, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, penned these words? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6 NIV)
Whatever it is you are concerned about, friends, don’t turn to the “Google translates” of this world. Instead, seek the Problem-Fixer, your Heavenly Daddy who loves you beyond anything you can ever imagine, and leave the problem to Him!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.