Excerpt from Day 3 of Heart Hugs for Single Moms
Do you ever wonder what is your part in each day and what is God’s? I have. Often. In fact, when I became a single mother years ago, that was a big issue for me. So for help, I turned to the Bible and read about women such as Deborah, Ruth and Esther who faced impossible situations but were victorious. Soon I was personalizing other scriptural principles for my new life. A favorite account was in John 11 with Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
When Jesus arrived in Bethany, He met Maratha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus, and went to the grave with them. There, He told the men nearby to roll away the stone. Then He said in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43).
When Lazarus emerged from the tomb, he still was bound by grave clothes. Then Jesus said to those standing nearby, surely with their mouths hanging open, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go” (v. 44).
How’s that again? The One who raised a man from the dead was asking others to roll away stones and untie grave clothes? Yes, we are to handle our daily responsibilities even as we trust God for the outcome! It’s like the old adage says, “Pray as though everything depends on God, and work as though everything depends on you.”
As I identified with the practical implications of John 11 for my own life, I began to pray about everything—great and small. For example, one day I no longer could ignore the burned-out light bulb in the family room ceiling. Time to drag out the ladder. Sigh. Then perched on the narrow step, I started complaining. God’s shoulders are broad, and He knows what we’re thinking anyway, so we might as well be honest. Besides, when Jesus said, “Come unto me,” He did not add, “Come with a smile on your face. Or “Come with a good attitude” or even “Come without tears.” He just said, “Come.”
So I told my Husband, God of the Universe, that husbands are supposed to change light bulbs, and I shouldn’t have to do this. From there, my complaining progressed to “I shouldn’t have to do this single-parenting thing, either.”
When I finished whining, I had the good sense to be quiet and listen. In that moment, it was just as though He said, “Try turning it the other way.”
What? I know the light-bulb-changing rule: It’s righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. But my way wasn’t working, so I gave the bulb a half-hearted turn the other way. It fell right into my hand!
As I examined the bulb, I could see the base had been damaged—perhaps as the previous owner had forced it into place. God knew the base was damaged, just as He knows where we are weakest. So the best decision we can make is to do what we can do and trust Him for the rest. What a difference that decision makes!