Mike Leake is an associate pastor at the First Baptist Church in Jasper, IN. He is also a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Mike regularly blogs at Borrowed Light (http://mikeleake.net) and SBC Voices. He and his wife, Nikki, live in Jasper, IN, with their son, Isaiah, and daughter, Hannah.
Yet if you ask my wife why our garbage disposal leaks, she can quickly point the finger to the time when I took the whole thing apart, breaking the seals and everything, to “fix it.” No need for a professional or an expert. I’m a husband and I’ve stayed at a Holiday Inn. Even though I have no idea how a garbage disposal works, I’m pretty certain that it’s not a big deal and I’ll figure it out as I go along. After all, how hard can it really be to get my garbage disposal to stop sounding like a pterodactyl giving birth?
Had it been something huge, I would have called a professional. But this was something little that I was confident that, through my own wisdom and strength, I could fix. No need to call in an expert.
So I plugged away for a couple of hours. Wasting an entire night. Learning nothing. Tearing up half the kitchen sink. Sinking in my shame and inadequacy. Even trying the ridiculous, such as taking off my belt and sagging my Levi’s hoping that maybe that will make me a better plumber. Fail.
Grace for the Little Things
It’s not only garbage disposals that I do this with, though. John Newton reminds me that it’s often in my prayer life that I’ve “got” the little things:
If the occasion seems small, we are too apt secretly to lean to our own wisdom and strength, as if in such slight matters we could make [due] without him. Therefore in these we often fail.
And so the Lord often treats us as a wise mother teaching a self-confident child how to walk: If there is no danger or harm from a fall, as if he is on plain carpet, the mother will leave him alone to learn how he can walk. Where mommy couldn’t convince him that he isn’t as strong and able as he thought, a bonk on the noggin will do the trick.
Often times the Lord allows these “small things” to become “big things” to teach us the danger of self-dependence and the joy of trusting His infallible hand. This is supremely loving. The Lord consistently reminds us that “it requires the same grace to bear with a right spirit a cross word as a cross injury; or the breaking of a china plate, as the death of an only son.”
We need grace for the little things just as much as we need grace for the big things.
In case you were wondering, after my failed efforts at fixing my garbage disposal, my good friend Ryan came to our rescue. He is somewhat of a handyman and, as opposed to me, actually knows what he is doing. Dude fixed it in three minutes. How, you ask? By sticking his hand down the drain and pulling out the screw that was rubbing up against the blades and causing the screeching of a birthing pterodactyl. Little things don’t turn into “big things” when we get the right means of help.