Three Trips to the Hardware Store

The utility sink in the garage leaked. My wife spotted it first. Why in the world does she look under the sink in the first place? Lying on my back I pushed myself inch by inch until I was under the sink. Mmm, it looks like the u-shaped thingamajig was rusted through (sorry if this is getting too technical for you).

I face plumbing jobs with fear and trepidation, imagining breaking one part after another until I’m working at replacing stuff inside the wall, then outside the house, and on to the main line at the street. Launching forth where angels fear to tread, I removed the u-shaped thingamajig, then another part, and still another part.

I made a trip to the hardware store for new parts. I went back a second time to take back these wrong parts and get the right parts. I went back a third time and, thankfully, the third time was the charm. The gal at the cash register reassured me on my third visit that a lot of people make three visits to the hardware store to fix something. Misery loves company so I felt comforted.

I eventually got the sink to stop leaking. I know, I’m as amazed as you are!

My three trips to the hardware store were an exercise in moving forward in spite of one mistake after another. I think there’s an application here to life beyond the utility sink. Making mistakes is part of the human condition. Some of the mistakes are even more than mistakes, they’re sin.

The good news is that God is revealed in the Bible as the God of a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance, etc. Every great Biblical character was flawed, sinful, yet they did great things, by the grace of God. Their stories are told so that we might be encouraged.

I’ve learned that the way to overcoming a mistake, failure, or sin is getting up and taking the first step forward. This first forward step may mean asking God, and maybe someone else, for forgiveness. It might mean asking God for help in getting up and getting going when we are down and out.

God is the God of possibilities, which means He always has a way we can respond in a positive way when the current situation looks anything but positive. We just need to, with His help, persevere. It’s probably going to take more than one trip to the hardware store!

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36


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