A Faith That Doesn’t Need To Be Fixed

by DanWolgemuth on May 24, 2024

Early this morning I woke with a number of friends and family members on my heart. These are people that I love and pray for… regularly. They are also people who have been exposed to the Gospel message, but who either actively or passively resist, and at times reject the message altogether. My guess is that even as you read this message, you too can think of names.

During a time of reflection, my mind time-traveled back to a moment, as a young father, with a very young daughter. I’m guessing nearly 35 years ago.

In the waning hours before bedtime in Franklin, TN, Alli pulled out a small windup car. The toy fit nicely in her hand, and she could easily get her mind wrapped around both the operation of the vehicle, and the delight that it brought.

But just before it was time for Alli to head off to bed, the mechanism that propelled the little car jammed. The wheels wouldn’t turn, and the winder wouldn’t wind.

After a few minutes of unsuccessfully attempting to solve the problem, I announced to Alli that it was bedtime.

Moments later, during bedtime prayers, Alli did the unthinkable… “Dear God, please fix my car. Amen.”

Before I could plant a kiss on my little daughter, my mind was spinning. Alli’s faith depended on the restoration of the functionality of a $2 windup car.

Once the lights were out, I located a tiny screwdriver and began my work. I’m not sure how long I lingered in this effort, but long enough to know that my blood pressure and anxiety level grew with each failed attempt. And eventually, there was nothing but fragments of a windup car littered below me. Game over.

Perhaps I could race off to Target or Walmart and find an exact duplicate in running order. Anything to protect the fledgling faith of my daughter. Anything to embolden her confidence in the God she prayed to. Anything to fix what now felt crushed in front of me.

At that vital moment, it felt as though my daughter’s faith depended, not on God, but on me. I had to save her. I had to fix what was broken. What seemed to break her heart. What she had pleaded with God for.

Me. Tools in hand, broken mess in front of me, eternity in the balance. Me to the rescue…

Today, Alli is a vibrant and committed follower of Jesus. Her faith is authentic, vulnerable, inquisitive, and resilient.

And I never fixed her car.

As parents. As friends. As grandparents. Our job is not to fix God’s reputation, or to repair His credibility, it is to illuminate His love and grace. And not when all the pieces fall perfectly in place, but most importantly, when they don’t.

The world is a mess. There are a lot of windup cars that don’t work. But God is still God. He’s not waiting and wondering when we will fix all the problems so the world will believe again. He said that the world would believe when we, His people, function and serve and love… in unity. That amplifies His message to the world. It is the illustration of His grace. His gift of love to the brokenness.

Take a deep breath, this is a faith that doesn’t need to be fixed. God took care of that in Jesus. Rest in Him. Rely on Him. And yes, put your screwdriver away.

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