Do you have handy man vans in your area? Their exteriors advertise the services of locals who earn money by fixing what goes wrong in our homes—cracks, grungy grout, a small roof repair, unclogging a drain. Just the fact that they have vans suggests something about their abilities. Name a small problem, and they can fix it. Our area has a proliferation of these men (if the vans are any indication) who call themselves Mr. Fix-it.
I think we like the sound of the name Mr. Fix-it; surely he must be dependable, assured, and skilled. When we have a problem, we want quick results, and Mr. Fix-it has the answer.
I’m afraid that most of us look for a fix-it person for every problem. If we are sick, we demand Dr. Fix-it. Having church issues? We call Pastor Fix-it. Major problems going on in the country? Let’s elect Mr. Fix-it to take care of it. If we can simply get the right handyman, everything will be alright.
But problems aren’t usually solved quite that simply. Often the diagnosis and cure is difficult and uncertain, whether it involves illnesses for people, churches, or countries. Even when it is clear, it may be too hard to deliver the cure without sacrificing money, time, or comfort. Often, we like the solution, but not its fix.
Instead of expecting a Mr. Fix-it to swoop in and save the day, perhaps we should look at things a bit more realistically—and even biblically. There is no human superhero to right all the problems we face. No person can make all the right judgments. All the research, education, training, and wisdom of the world cannot assure the outcome we want.
Only God holds the solutions to our earthly problems, but he doesn’t always choose to fix them. His name is not Lord Fix-it. His desire is that we seek him for himself, not simply to give us lives without problems. We are to seek him in the midst of the problems. He does promise to give us peace of heart, hope in him, wisdom for today, and strength to persevere. The problem is meant to turn us to God, not necessarily to fix it, but to carry us through it by the power of his Spirit.
God is present through us as we walk with him, bringing his presence and kingdom into the midst of a crazy and problem-filled world.
How do we do that? By looking like him. Where there is poverty, we meet needs. In the midst of hate, we become peacemakers. In a world that tempts us to fear, we trust in God and love our enemies who are also made in his image. In a greedy world, we sacrificially give. When actions bring resentment and anger, we forgive by God’s grace.
I don’t always look like that, but by his grace I am growing.
We are God’s representatives in the midst of a harsh and problem-filled world. Let’s quit trusting earthly people to be the answer to our problems. They cannot fix all the issues that arise in a sin-filled world. Let’s trust our Father God with our lives and circumstances whatever may come. Let’s focus on looking like our Savior through the problems and show the world a different way to live—the way of Jesus.