Last week I was listening to the Bible. I got tickled when I got to Ecclesiates 1:15—Solomon’s take on the imperfect world around him. “That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.”
As Matthew Poole said about this Scripture, “All our knowledge serves only to discover our diseases and miseries, but it is oft itself utterly insufficient to heal or remove them; it cannot rectify those confusions and disorders which are either in our own hearts and lives, or in the men and things of the world.”
I found myself chuckling because I have been working on some very imperfect crooked things for a couple of weeks—my kitchen cabinets! See, for almost twenty-three years, I have happily lived in a double wide. However, we have noticed that the makers didn’t put quality items in our home. This includes kitchen cabinets. No, they put some sort of particle board, MDF fiberboard, or fake wood stuff! As this material gets wet, it swells and bubbles. It chips off with use and doesn’t age very well.
This month, I got it in my head to paint the cabinets, therefore preserving them with a coating and making them look better. I’m not very handy, so this was my first experience with TSP substitute (There really is a reason they say to wear gloves!), an electric sander, wood filler, wood glue, and other fun things! Since I am not experienced, I didn’t do a fantastic job. I didn’t get the wood filler sanded down well enough without sanding into the particleboard. I found that white paint shows everything! I mean everything! It also shows how crooked the entire thing is. The original hinge holes couldn’t always be used. In fact, I have wondered more than once, if the men who originally put the thing together were drunk! The trim is crooked, the cabinet itself is crooked, the holes are cock-eyed, and the doors are crooked. We have done the best that we knew how to do, but it’s still crooked! I told my son, “Just adjust the doors until it no longer screams at me. I know that we can’t get it perfect!”
I agree with Solomon, that which is crooked cannot be made straight!
But in Isaiah 42:16 it says, “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” Even when all my knowledge has only served to discover the problem, God has said that He can do more!
I see the needs in my children. I see the crooked places that need to be straightened. It seems that as I start to pray for one need, my mind tries to jump to another. We are desperate for God!
Thirteen years ago, I used to have feelings of guilt when I would go to the hospital to work with the twins. I would schedule visits to go work with them at feeding time, and I could only take them one at a time. Whenever I would hold Logan, trying to get him to suck, swallow, and breathe at the same time, I would feel guilty that I was not holding Lexie. And whenever I held Lexie, I felt guilty that I didn’t have Logan. I remember the happiness and rest that I had the first time that they let me have both of them at the same time! I put both of them on my chest and felt content.
God has been letting me bundle all my children’s needs in one bundle and bring them to Him. He knows what is wrong. He said that he can make the crooked places straight!
If you come to my house to see my cabinets, one of the first things I will do is show you all the imperfections. That seems to be my personality; however, the needs in my children are so private that I can’t share it in a prayer request. But God knows all about it—every bubbled particleboard, every warped cabinet, every detail!
And so, I bundle it all together. He is able to make whatever is wrong, right. All the high places with obstacles and roadblocks can be leveled. All of the darkness of confusion can be lightened. All the battles fought for us. I’m bringing my family’s case to Jesus.
He can make the crooked straight.
I will make the darkness light before thee
What is wrong, I’ll make it right before thee
All thy battles I will fight before thee
And a high place I’ll bring down
When thou walkest by the way, I’ll lead thee
On the fatness of the land, I’ll feed thee
And a mansion in the sky, I’ll deed thee
And a high place, I’ll bring down
C. P. Jones
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