I have mixed emotions about snow. It is peacefully beautiful to look at, but it has an ugly side too. Let me explain. Several years ago, we lived 15 miles out in the country, but attended church in town. It was a bitterly cold day and heavy snow had been predicted. By the time church services were out, snow flurries were quickly covering the ground. We lingered in town and ate lunch.
About 2:00 p.m. we decided we should head home as the snowfall was increasing. By the time we turned down the country road about, 2 miles from our house, the drifts were incredibly deep, and it was snowing extremely hard. All went well until we started up a hill and it quickly became evident; there was no way we could make it! Jerry decided he would walk to a neighbor’s house about ½ a mile away and borrow his tractor to pull us up the hill. He bundled up, left the van running, and admonished us to stay inside and keep warm.
Time seemed to stand still. I pictured my poor husband trudging through the steep drifts in his suit and dress coat, and then having to ride back down in the frigid weather on a tractor.
A brilliant idea flashed through my brain! I would get the van unstuck, drive to Ralph’s house, and surprise him! Visions of Jerry’s astonished face flashed across my mind, his overwhelming pride at his wife’s problem solving ability, and his gratitude for being spared all that hard, cold walk. Yes! I knew I could do it! I had no doubt! I told the girls to bow their heads, and we would pray for the Lord’s guidance and help. All the time they were whimpering, “Oh no Mommy! Please listen to Daddy! Please don’t do anything!” Their pleading aggravated me but it wasn’t without cause, they had been with me on similar missions before!
I took a deep breath, sure of my victory, and began our rescue efforts. I had seen Jerry go in forward and reverse rocking the van to free it. “Piece of cake” I thought, “we’ll be outta here in no time!” By now the girls were sobbing and pleading. Back and forth, back and forth I rocked the van, over and over, turning the wheel and trying different angles. Yep! In no time at all….we were stuck fast and the engine died. There we sat, snuggly “secure” in the snow and now with no heater! The children’s imploring faces were replaced by grim expressions carved in stone. I flashed them the “hairy eyeball” and that kept any comments at bay, but I could still feel their menacing looks boring through the back of my head.
Our fingers and toes went numb from the cold. Finally Jerry and Ralph arrived with the tractor. I was right, boy was he surprised! But the emotions that showed on his face weren’t pride and gratitude! My rescue effort had formed a 3 foot snow bank in front of the van. Snow was literally packed up into the motor where the belt couldn’t turn, and the back end had slid off the road. The tractor couldn’t even budge it, little lone pull it up the hill. The sun had sat by now and it was bitter cold. Two at a time we mounted each side of Ralph’s tractor (Sunday dresses and shoes), and held on as he drove us the 1 ½ miles home. It took 3 trips to get all of us, a total of 7 ½ miles! When we were safely home, the biting cold outside didn’t even compare with the icy glares of my family. I was so intimidated; I didn’t even jostle for my position in front of the wall heater! As they stood there in a shivering group, the girls scowling at me, Jerry finally spoke. “Sweetheart, next time you decide to help me, PLEASE DON’T!”
I wonder, how many times has God said those exact same words to me? He created the heavens and the earth, the human race, all plants and animals; parted the Red Sea, turned water into wine, and saved my soul from hell; how could I think He needs my help?! Having full knowledge of these facts, I still find times when I step in to “help” God. Just like my winter rescue mission, my efforts end in disaster, leaving God with a lot of “clean up” work to fix the mess I made.
How can we know if God is prompting us to act in a certain situation, or we are just jumping in to “run the show” for Him? Here are a few lessons I learned:
Keep a close relationship with the Lord.
The sheep can’t hear the shepherds voice if the wander too far. Keep a close walk with Him. When we neglect prayer and Bible reading, we tend to drift from His side. We wander too far away to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit guiding us. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27
Satan will be able to creep in and put thoughts into our minds, making us think it is our own idea. “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.”
1 Chronicles 21:1
God always gives clear direction.
The Lord never fails to give us clear direction in what He would have us do. He promises us His guidance. It is our own desires and temptations that often cloud our vision from seeing His leadership clearly. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalms 32:8
God want us to succeed. He is on our side! He doesn’t play games or speak to us in riddles. His guidance is easy to understand. The problem comes when we don’t trust Him or try to make His leading match our desires. This again opens the door for the devil to get us off track and on his course. When confusion enters the situation, KNOW it is NOT God. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints”. 1 Corinthians 14:33
Obey Him in the things you know are His will.
Most Christians know without a doubt, basic principles that God wants us to obey. (If you don’t find someone who does and start studying!) We often by pass them because of their simplicity. We are fueled by our own desires. If we don’t do what we do know, how can He show us more? We wouldn’t be able to apply the new information. God doesn’t make things hard, we do! Start with what you do know and He will light your way. “But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” Jeremiah 7:23
So next time you want to help God “fix things” PLEASE DON’T! He can handle everything fine all by Himself!
Published in the Oklahoma Baptist Newspaper, July 2014


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