The Trouble with Our Trouble

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Living the life as a human didn’t solve all of my pet calf’s trouble did it? 


I loved Trouble. I had raised him with a bottle from a week old. But when my dad wanted to sell him, I wanted desperately to keep him. I decided that giving him a human nature would be the answer to keeping him.


I knew Trouble’s limitations. I knew that he was too big to fit onto a bed and too heavy to sit on the couch. But, it didn’t matter to me. I wanted him in my family.


Yet, I can imagine that it would have mattered very much to Trouble himself. (Hence, yesterday’s journal entry.)


Trouble would have been genuinely pleased with his new nature, and would want to pay us back for allowing him into our family. 


But, obviously, with his oversized hooves and 1000-pound body, there would be absolutely nothing that he could physically have done to help us. 


He couldn’t help my mom bake brownies. He would always be dropping the pan. 

He couldn’t help my dad drive the tractor. His hooves couldn’t hold the steering wheel. 

He couldn’t help me with my homework. He had no understanding of world history or math. 


Yet, in every instance, Trouble would seem quite “bull-headed” to do so. 


Notice any similarities?


Upon salvation, we are ecstatic with our new life. God has not only forgiven us from all our past sins, but actually given us a brand new nature – the life of His Son.


Our problem comes afterward. 


What we begin in total dependence and trust, we shift into trying to pay Christ back, so we will look like one of His. 


Maybe He’ll like it if we attend every church service.

Or maybe Jesus will notice if we read only Christian novels.

Or maybe we can help Him out by telling others what they are doing wrong.


You see, God didn’t invite us into His family to do something. He invited us into His family to be someone


We are just as awkward in spiritual things as Trouble’s bovine body would be in performing humanly tasks. 


Just imagine if Trouble had decided to “help out” at Thanksgiving and make the stuffing. Can you see him chopping the onion or crumbling the breading? Would he be able to pick up a baking dish or adjust the thermostat of the oven? No, he has no grip in his hooves. 


No matter how much he would want to help, his bovine body would limit even the simplest tasks. 


We are the same when we try to do things for God. Spirit doesn’t originate in the flesh (Romans 8:6).  Just trying harder doesn’t increase our spirituality.


Only when we “let go and let God” (Psalm 46:10 The Living Bible), can He achieve His righteousness within us. He is in charge of our spirituality – not we ourselves. 


“Father, open my eyes to see how very inadequate I am to be spiritual. It is only what You do within me that is acceptable to You. Show me how to function from Your Spirit rather than from my awkward flesh.”