You Can’t Fix It
AUGUST 26, 2020
When we can’t fix things, what do we do? We pray. We work. We agonize. And yet the pain remains.
We’re going to take a look at Matthew 6, but one important side road first. Determinism is not a part of the Christian faith. So in what follows if you ever think I’m saying, “Just deal with it” (and that’s all), then you’ve misunderstood. While God is sovereign over everything, your prayers, actions, and decisions count.
With that being said…
There are some things that you just can’t fix or change.
You may be worried about your children who have left the faith. Stop trying to fix it. You can’t and the more you try, the worse it will get.
You may have a husband or a wife who isn’t a believer. Stop trying to fix it. You can’t.
You may have been terribly hurt by someone. Stop trying to fix it. You can’t.
You may be struggling. Stop trying to fix it. You can’t.
The proper response when we’re going through a hard time with things we cannot change is not…
“God, how could you do this to me?”
“God, I don’t care what you have decided, so I’m taking charge and I’ll handle it.”
“I must have offended a magician when I was little and this is my curse.”
“God is a vengeful God and my sins are many, so I’m getting what I deserve.”
“I don’t understand, but I’m a servant, so I’ll just sit over here and suffer quietly.”
The proper response is to ask what God is doing in the situation and then to act accordingly.
Three truths—they aren’t very profound—as a reminder.
When you can’t fix it, wait.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27).
You’ve heard it over and over again: “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Let me give you something else that’s good advice: If it is broken and you can’t fix it, don’t even try to fix it.
At Key Life we get a lot of emails, letters, and phone calls from people who have problems that just can’t be fixed. In fact, one of our standard responses is this… You have three options, the same options that a cat has when it gets its tail caught in a crack. You can pull it out and it will hurt. You can leave it in and it will hurt. Or you can cuss and spit, and it will still hurt. That’s it. Frankly, you’ll feel better when you face the facts.
The three spiritual laws (if you will) of Matthew 6 are this: There is a God; you’re not him; so deal with it.
When you can’t fix it, worship.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26).
When faced with pain, suffering, and evil, Christians have the same questions as everybody else and often, as a result, we end up asking ourselves, once again, what it is we really believe.
It’s the truth regardless of circumstance: We believe that God is good and good all the time.
Where in the world did we get that? Certainly, given the facts, since nobody in their right mind would make that up and often what we experience simply doesn’t justify that conclusion, I would suggest that the reason we believe it is because there really is, in fact, a God who is good and good all the time.
A pastor friend passed along this conversation between a mother and her daughter Maggie in which his granddaughter Ruby (who is Maggie’s friend) is mentioned:
They were driving along in the car and Maggie said when they stopped at an intersection, “Mommy, God made these intersections.”
“Well, that’s true,” her mom said. “Actually, people made them and God gave them the brains to make them.”
“God made everything though,” Maggie said. “He made the first people and the trees, and the birds, and everything else. Ruby told me that and I believe Ruby.”
“Yeah, her parents tell her a lot of true stuff.”
“Okay,” her mom said. “You can believe what you want, but just remember that there are people who believe differently about God. That’s okay, right?”
“I guess,” Maggie replied, “but I believe Ruby. Pretty much everybody in our class believes Ruby.”
Pretty much everybody believes Jesus. Do you know why? Because when God revealed himself to us, he didn’t rule us; he identified with us. He was God suffering. He was God lonely. He was God weeping beside open graves. He was God dying.
I pretty much believe Jesus and Ruby. While God doesn’t always remove the pain and struggle, he always says, “I know, child.”
When you can’t fix it, watch.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
God is at work and he can be trusted.
I know absolutely nothing about computers, but we have a wonderful IT guy at Key Life, John Myers. Whenever something goes wrong with my computer or my laptop, I call John. He comes in, sits in my chair, and starts working. And generally, in a matter of minutes, it’s fixed.
Sometimes I say to John, “Does it bother you that I watch?” “No,” he answers, “not at all. In fact, I like for you to watch…but just don’t touch anything until I’m finished, okay?”
That’s what God says to us.
A whole lot of what we face in our lives is way above our pay grade. And God says, “Why don’t you come along and watch?”
We can then relax. He is at work and has it covered.