Recently, my family and I went to the Frio River for vacation. We stayed in a cabin and enjoyed five days of central Texas fun. The cabin we were staying at had everything I needed to cook our meals. The only twist was that the kitchen equipment was slightly different than what I was used to.
One thing in particular that was dissimilar was the old-fashion coffee pot. I’ve grown accustomed to my cappuccino maker and my Keurig, so using this retro coffee maker took some adjusting. I would fill the decanter with water and pour the water into the tank at the back of the coffee machine.
The first three days I poured the water, I made huge messes. I lost almost half my water from the pot onto the counter. This was weird to me because I always do a great job pouring liquid from one container to the next. I make sure to lift the back of the container and angle my wrist just right to ensure that no water dribbles down the throat of the container. But for some reason, I couldn’t get the knack of this decanter. The more I tried, the more I spilled.
Finally, on the fourth day we were there, I decided to do something different. Instead of working so hard, I just poured the water out of the decanter into the water tank. I didn’t try to lift the bottom or angle my wrist. I simply tilted the water out. And guess what? The water came straight out of the decanter and into the water tank. No spill!
The makers of the coffee pot had constructed the water to effectively pour out of the decanter with minimal manipulation and effort by the handler.
Sometimes in this life of faith, I think we try too hard to manipulate the circumstance. We know what God has called us to do, and instead of resting in Him, we struggle, strive and stress over trying to accomplish His will in our own strength. But Jesus says that His yoke is light and easy to bear (Matthew 11.30). I think much of our worry in life occurs because we are not relying on God and His design, timing and plan.
We try too hard to control the situation in our limited understanding, making a mess of things instead of simply trusting the process. I think that’s why the Bible says to not lean on our own understanding and that we need to walk by faith not by sight (Proverbs 3.5 and 2 Corinthians 5.7). From now on, when I feel like I’m making a mess or I’m under too much stress, I will examine my thoughts and actions and make sure that I’m resting in God and not striving in my own effort.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8.28 NIV).