The male ego is a very fragile thing. I remember as our oldest son was growing up, he would receive more and more toys that would require “some assembly.” We learn many things as we raise our first born children, and one of the hard lessons for me (and most men frankly) was to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS before assembling my son’s toys. My wife would many times say to me, “Aren’t you going to read the instructions?” as I tossed them aside. Then I would reply with, “I’m a pipefitter, I work with tools and put things together every day.” Words I would eventually need to eat as I sheepishly would grab the instructions and begin to read after things weren’t going together as they were supposed to.
Most men by nature are builders and fixers. We will many times tackle tasks that are outside our area of expertise, only to admit we should have called a professional to begin with. Most times it is hard to accept that we can’t fix a problem or make a repair or admit we are lost. The male ego gets us into trouble many times, I think the Bible calls that pride. Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
There are many situations in life that cannot be repaired; grief, pain, sorrow, sickness, death…the list goes on and on. In many of those life changing situations we want to repair things, to make things better, but there is no way to fix them. We may even give them over to the professionals, like doctors, or counselors and they cannot fix the situation. This leads to a sense of frustration on men’s part. We don’t want to see people we love hurt, but alas there is nothing we can do.
As the father of a son with disabilities, I faced many times of frustration through the years of raising Johnny. Times of watching my wife grieve, times of watching my son suffer in pain and times of seeing our other sons hurt deeply for their little brother. I could talk, I could try to comfort, but I couldn’t fix the problems. In the midst of wanting to help the family, I also had to deal with my own emotions and questions. Some things in life just can’t be fixed!
That is when my gaze had to be turned upward. At first, I would beg God to change the situations, do something miraculous and stop the pain. This many times would just lead to more frustration and questions. As I learned more about the God of all comfort, I began to change my prayers. Instead of asking the Lord to change things, I would plead for grace and strength to get through situations. Prayers that have been faithfully answered by God for over thirty plus years. That’s not to say that I have never asked “Why?’ or haven’t been frustrated by circumstances, I have learned that some things just can’t be fixed, this side of heaven.
The difficulties of life can wear us down and frustrate us to a point of wanting to give up. That is not where God wants us to be. He wants us to look to Him for the comfort, grace and strength that we need to endure our trials. Men, we need to have the Lord’s strength for our family, for those that are watching us in our trials. Understand, that we can’t fix every problem!! Those are the times we need to rely on the Lord. Don’t run from the things we can’t fix, but by God’ power, help those around us, pray and ask God to give us the wisdom we don’t possess.
II Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ my rest upon me.”
Paul couldn’t fix his thorn in his flesh, so he asked God to remove it (he looked up) God’s answer was; “I’m not going to fix it, I am going to give you the grace to deal with the problem, I will empower you.” Friend, we should be people that live by the power of God. Allow Him to get us through our difficulties and trials. Because, some things just can’t be fixed.