We purchased our home on Crescent Drive the summer of 2002. It was the perfect size for our growing family with plenty of bedrooms, a large backyard, and an in-ground swimming pool. The day we moved in, one thing caught my attention. At the top of the stairs, there was duct tape wrapped around the wooden handrail. The first thing that entered my mind was, “I should see what’s underneath the duct tape.” Followed by, “It’s broken and the entire 12-foot piece will need to be replaced. I don’t have time for that now.” Apparently that’s what my husband was thinking too.
One-by-one our kids graduated from high school. Four of them left home. Three of them got married, and grandchildren have arrived. Amidst all the changes, the old duct tape was still there, looking dirty and worn. Through the years, other repairs took priority. But nobody wanted to tackle the broken handrail, so the duct tape remained as a permanent feature. Until recently.
Our once perfectly sized house feels large and empty for three people, so we decided to put it on the market. As we spruced up the place, the time to tackle the duct tape had clearly arrived. I held my breathe, as I gingerly peeled the tape back, ready to assess the damage. I looked closely and felt through the gummy residue. There was nothing wrong. No crack. No split. Nothing. The wooden handrail was completely intact.
Fourteen years of avoiding such a simple problem. We had assumed the handrail needed to be replaced, but all that was needed was to remove the duct tape and apply a little “Goof-Off” to the stickiness. I laughed with joyous relief. I also laughed at the absurdity of the situation. We had avoided dealing with this problem for so long, because of a faulty assumption.
How many times have we avoided other areas in our lives because of faulty assumptions?
I have found that my faulty assumptions generally fall into two categories: (1) The problem is too big and (2) The Lord is too small.
The problem is too big. There’s not enough money. There’s not enough time. Relationships are strained or broken. We don’t see the answers. We keep beating our heads against the same brick wall. It’s outside of our control.
We may get overwhelmed by our circumstances. Our judgment gets clouded. We may assume the worst and our creative thinking shuts down.
The Lord is too small. We, in our humanity, are limited. We exist in time and space. What we see is what there is. We forget that our God is not like us. He is greater than we can fathom. He knows no bounds.
The amazing thing is He cares deeply about us, and shares His Spirit with us. What is impossible for us is absolutely possible for God.
Whether personal or involving the place where you lead, you need not be afraid of problems. You can look more closely and assess the problem. You can face problems, small or big, with confidence and curiosity. Although you may not feel strong enough or wise enough, God, who is on your side, is more than enough. You may be pleasantly surprised. Your problem may be easier than you think.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand (Isaiah 41:10 NLT).
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Heavenly Father, thank You that nothing is too hard for You and that You hold me safely in Your hand. Remind me not to dread or be afraid. I do not have to avoid difficult situations, because You are with me. Let me not assume the worst. Help me to look to You in all things; You have the answers I need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.