The Water Glasses


"Look mom!" Cried my son with more enthusiasm that I had heard him use in over a day. "The two water glasses came apart!"

I raised an eyebrow. I mean, this isn't usually a big deal to pull two stacked water glasses apart.

He smiled. "They were stuck," he said. "I had been trying to get them apart ever since I started doing the dishes and finally I just set them aside. Then when I went to get them just now, they came right apart!"

Suddenly I understood-far more than my son realized!

I had spent most of the last 24 hours trying to reason with this particular teen about a particular school project. Well, that's probably not 100% accurate. I had started out reasoning with him, but when I hadn't accomplished my purpose, my involvement with him may have more accurately been described as "butting heads"! Needless to say, it had worn me out. Throughout all of this, I had been praying for God to help my son see, to help him be reasonable. Finally, just moments earlier, I had let it drop for awhile.

Imagine my surprise when, just as he was starting to do the dishes, my son turned and stated that he had decided to do what I had been encouraging him to do! It had blown me away.

And now I understood what had happened. Just like my son had struggled to no avail with the two glasses, I had been struggling to resolve a problem by my own strength and wisdom. And just like the two glasses came apart easily when he put them down and let them sit for awhile, when I had finally relinquished my son's problem to God, when I finally let go, God took care of everything.

This incident reminds me of a Bible story. A man, Zerubbabel by name, was given an impossible task: He was supposed to rebuild Solomon's temple that had been laying in ruins for 70 years. Although he had the blessing of the distant King of Persia, Cyrus, he did not have the blessing of the people who had begun to live in the land of God's people when Israel was forced into captivity. These people gave them no end of trouble. But God was with Zerubbabel, and by the mouth of the prophet Nehemiah, God said: "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." (Zech 4:6 NIV)

In the end, the temple was rebuilt (See Ezra for all the interesting details!)

Isn't it true? The more we try to do things on our own, the more we fail. But the moment we set them aside, just as my son set aside those water glasses, we allow God to begin to intervene in the situation and His power shines through. Just like my son's attitude about this school project stubbornly refused to turn, just like those two glasses refused to separate, just like the people who opposed Zerubbabel refused to leave him alone, when we struggle to resolve things of our own power, we fail. But when we turn them over to God's Spirit, that's when the attitudes do a 180 turn-around. That's when the temple goes up despite the opposition. That's when the glasses miraculously come apart.

"'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." (Zech 4:6 NIV)

Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org , with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org .

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