I am not a handy person. Though I would like to be the type of man who can pound any household problem into submission, I am the nail more frequently than I am the hammer. When I take on a household maintainence or repair project, conditions usually get far worse before they improve. And sometimes improvement only happens by dragging a friend or a professional into the house. Sadly, when it comes to home improvement I more closely resemble Bob Denver than Bob Vila.
I recently needed to replace a broken light switch in our kitchen. Simple enough, right? The Lowe’s employee, the packaging, and a hundred YouTube videos convinced me that any upright biped could handle this. After buying the correct replacement switch, this project should be as easy as a few strategic turns of a screwdriver.
Inside the wall, the old light switch didn’t match any diagram or drawing I could find. It was not remotely obvious (to me) how to disconnect the old switch from the wires. And the instructions on the new switch taunted me with their brevity and simplicity.
Why must this task be so difficult?
I nimbly bulldozed my way through the removal of the old switch (hello, wirecutters!) and connected the new one. When trying to put the new switch back into the wall, I realized the new dimensions exceeded the old. Square peg, meet round hole.
Why must everything be so difficult?
My frustration quickly gave way to impatience and anger, and I was less than gentle. Plaster crumbled and I soon found wall innards spilling onto the floor. At this rate my simple, ten-minute project looked like it might just leave me homeless.
Why is everything so difficult for me?
What Can We Learn?
When I feel the Genesis 3 curse in painful, accute ways, how can I glorify God? When I see that the curse stretches more broadly than I imagined, or that my limitations are more profound than I hoped, what shall I do? Here are three ideas. Please share others if you have them.
- Praise God that he is not like me. Where I am finite and weak and foolish and incapable, He is infinite and mighty and wise and proficient.
- Thank God for his forgiveness and love. My sinful anger, acts of rage, and bitter complaints are offensive to God, yet because of Jesus he is full of love and forgiveness toward me. Nothing can keep me from the love of God, not even my house.
- Praise God that the curse is not everlasting. Though I will feel the curse until the day I die, when I am with the Lord it will be no more. (Rev 21:1–4) All of the frustration and anger and futility that I feel when tackling a difficult task will one day be a distant memory. And, this is not only a future reality, but God is making me into the sort of person right now for whom anger is a less-immediate response. There is reason and evidence for great hope.