I noticed Anita's car had been having trouble cranking the past few weeks. And as I get older I was really beginning to relate to this car, empathizing with it's difficulty of just getting started each day. But after the battery simply died on me this past weekend I realized it was time to get a new one ... so off to O'Reilly's I went and purchased a new battery for this 2006 Camry. And while no one will every confuse me with a real mechanic I knew I was competent to replace it myself; no advanced technological skills necessary for this task.
Things went exactly as planned - disconnected the old battery, pulled it out, put in the new one, and reconnected it - until I touched the negative cable to the negative terminal on the battery. While I know you're hoping to hear of some explosion, fire, or more dramatic event you may be disappointed to hear that the only thing that happened was the car alarm started going off. Well, that didn't worry me much, that type thing has happened before, so I figured I'd just reset the alarm and we'd then go about our merry way. Except that this time it wasn't resetting ... it just kept going off every time I tried something ... and it would not allow the car to crank at all. So there sat a useless car in my driveway, brand new battery and everything, but it wasn't interested in cranking.
I was thinking, "Surely, there will be a Youtube video or online instructions about how to reset this thing." And there were plenty of instructions online alright, one place contradicting another, but each and every one proved fruitless for this particular car. "Put key in ignition, turn on and off 5 times, unlock power door locks 3 times with key in 'on' position, lock all doors except driver's door, open driver's door while turning key to 'on' position, open trunk with key, hold key in driver's door for 3 seconds in unlock position after locking/unlocking 5 times, push red alarm button on/off several times, do these things in varying sequences, etc." I tried every trick that Google could offer and nothing worked. Each time I tried to crank the car ... nothing, except horn blowing (which I disconnected), tail-lights flashing, dashboard lights flashing, and growing irritation on my part.
Once the work week started I called my mechanic who graciously offered to stop by my house and look at it. He did, recognized the problem quickly, knew the proper sequence to push, pull, lock, unlock, etc. and now it cranks beautifully! Turns out the bigger thing (the battery) wasn't nearly as frustrating and anxiety producing as the little thing (resetting the alarm ... which, btw, will soon be disconnected).
This same thing tends to hold true in our personal lives as well. The bigger problems occur (car gets totaled, death of loved one, tornado destroying house, etc.) and somehow we're able to handle them. But then those little things come along and we just lose it, freak out, get crippled with anxiety, and can't seem to move forward. Little things like a child who can't get ready for school on time, a broken shelf in the refrigerator, slow internet, an ingrown toenail, a car alarm that needs resetting, etc.
So as you pause and pray today, ask the Lord to help you identify the small things that are causing you grief. And then ask Him to give you His grace to handle not just the big, horrible, devastating tragedies but also the small, seemingly insignificant and minor things that we tend to think we can handle on our own. The reality is that we desperately need God's grace in all things - big and small. And the good news is that our Father delights in being involved in every aspect of our lives! So let's call upon Him, ask for abundant grace, and rely upon His strength in all things, whether great or small.