"My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want." (Matthew 26:39 NRSV)

I remember a story about a man who approached a woman whose car was stalled at an intersection. The hood was up, and she flagged the man down to help. "I can't get it started," she said. "but if you jiggle the wire on the battery, I think it will work." The man grabbed the positive battery cable and it came off in his hand. Definitely the cable was too loose. "The terminal needs to be tightened up," he told her. "I can fix it if you have some tools." "My husband says to just jiggle the wire," she replied. "It always works. Why don't you just try that?"

The man paused for a moment, wondering why her husband didn't ride around town with her so he would be available when the wire needed jiggling. Finally he said, "Ma'am, if I jiggle the wire, you're going to need someone else to do it every time you shut the engine off. If you'll give me two minutes and a wrench, we can solve the problem and you can forget about it." Reluctantly, she fumbled under the front seat and then extended a crescent wrench through the window of the old car.

As he tightened the battery terminal, it occurred to the man how many times he had tried, in his own life, to get a "quick fix" from God. "I have this problem, Lord, and if You'll just jiggle the wire, things will be OK. I'm in a hurry, so let's just get me going again the quickest way possible." But God doesn't want to "jiggle wires," does He? God wants to take the time necessary to deal with our real problem and fix it. To get the long-term solution to the pressing needs in our lives requires a complete surrender to God and a willingness to proceed on God's terms. We must cooperate with God in whatever it takes for as long as it takes. As the lady drove away with her tightened terminal, the man stopped for a moment and asked the Lord to say "No!" the next time he asks God to just jiggle a wire.

Dear God, guide me in taking care of my true needs and not just giving me a quick fix. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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