Imagine: You buy a refrigerator and pay for it to be delivered, and when it arrives, the delivery people refuse to deliver it because they say your new refrigerator is too wide for opening in the cabinet for the refrigerator…
That is what happened to me last year. The delivery man said that the new fridge, that was exactly the same dimensions as the old one, wouldn’t fit in the opening that the old one had just come out of.
Why would he do such a thing?
Because he measured the space.
The problem was, he didn’t lay the measuring tape across the opening from one side to the other. Instead, he placed the tape inside the opening, requiring that he bend it a bit on one end. He was so sure that his measurement was accurate that he actually got mad when I asked him to measure it again, and he began telling me how it would be a waste of his time to bring the fridge in because it wasn’t going to fit.
I was pretty upset at this delivery person, I will admit. But when I think about it, I realize that I have done similar things so many times. Take, for example, when someone comes up with an idea. My first response? “I don’t think that will work!” And so I so often write off things without even trying them.
I wish I could say this only happens on unimportant tasks, and never in ministry; but this wouldn’t be completely honest. You see, I’m afraid that I can be a bit rigid…It is different from what I think, so therefore it won’t work! Even if God says it will: “I don’t see any way that will work, Lord, so best to not try!”
Needless to say, my new refrigerator is now in my kitchen, in the same “too small” spot that the old one occupied. A different team of delivery people delivered it the following day. The fridge fits just fine. The problem lie completely with the fact that the first delivery person simply didn’t see that his way of measuring wasn’t 100% accurate, and he wasn’t willing to try somethig new.
Some times we have to be willing to try something different. We have to be willing to admit that our own methods might not be the best, and might not even be accurate. In fact, the Bible teaches us that we can do ALL things … but ONLY through CHRIST! (See Philippians 4:13) In other words, if we rely on our own strength, habits, ingenuity, we are bound for failure. But when we rely on God, we can truly do ALL things! Why? Because the One who created the world has said it will work!
I used to lead a small group at our church that focused on grief recovery. I had lead it for years and could do it in my sleep. Of course, I had a co-facilitator. Imagine my horror the night she called to say she couldn’t make it. I panicked. How could I do this by myself??? The thought scared me. It would be a total failure. There was NO WAY I could lead out by myself!
Eventually I calmed down enough to hear God’s voice reminding me that I wasn’t by myself, He was with me, and that I could trust Him to get me through.
That marked a whole new era for leadership for me. I began submitting the classes 100% to Him, and I found that when I did, it didn’t matter if I had a co-facilitator or not! God would take over!
Interestingly, I started having better outcomes with the group as well…
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deut. 31:6 NLT)
Too bad the first refrigerator delivery man didn’t know the truth of this verse. I would have had my refrigerator one day earlier, there would have been a lot less stress for me, for the salesperson and his manager, and for the delivery schedulers who had to find a spot for my delivery the following day.
The next time you get stuck thinking about things in just one way, remember my “undeliverable” refrigerator … That was delivered just fine the next day by someone who was willing to try. Also remember: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do itnwith your might…” (Eccl. 9:10 NKJV). And when “what your hand finds to do” seems impossible, remember that that “the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you He will never fail you nor abandon you!”
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Author, Moderator, Associate Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries