I tried to fix a toilet once. The operative word is “once,” for short of a miracle involving angel armies in my bathroom offering plumbing assistance, I will never try again.
I did the homework, studying Do It Yourself articles about diagnosing the problem and purchasing the necessary parts. Overflow tube, flush valve chain, flapper, and fill valve became part of my working vocabulary. Finally, I watched several videos about replacing the inside parts of a toilet tank.
One video was exceptional. The plumber was dressed in a shirt, tie, and khakis. He spoke eloquently and confidently as he lifted the tank lid of a pristine white toilet. As I listened to the instructions and watched him effortlessly accomplish each step, I became more at ease with changing the tank parts. I marveled at how neat and clean the project was. The guy looked as fresh as a daisy throughout the whole lesson! I was almost ready to make some popcorn and enjoy the rest of the relaxing, informative video when VOILA, he was finished! Remarkable. I knew my experience would be as effortless as his. I could even have relaxing music on in the background. This would be a cinch.
Feeling empowered and eager to start, I began the project. Far too soon into it, I started hitting snags. From snags, I hit impasses. As the agony dragged on, I had thoughts of taking a sledgehammer to the toilet. Parts were not cooperating as the instructor’s had. Considerable time passed, and there was no progress, only frustration. No matter how hard I tried, I could not install the parts correctly. I was sweaty and gross. Just the thought of the happy toilet guy in a shirt and tie annoyed me. There was no one to call, and I was without a working toilet. Exhausted and defeated, I lay on the bathroom floor and cried tears of complete exasperation.
This was clearly a DN-DIY project: Do NOT Do It Yourself. Before too long, a plumber friend came to my aid and quickly installed the parts with no trouble. I learned that sometimes, depending on our level of skill or lack of it, we cannot do certain things ourselves.
God has a DIY program. He gives us DIY things we can be successful at that will make us stronger, more effective Christians. There are things in our walk with the Lord that only WE can do for ourselves. For instance, I cannot cultivate a relationship with the Lord for anyone else but myself. I can want my friend to love the Lord as deeply as I do, but I cannot love Jesus for her. I can want someone to get as much pleasure from Bible reading as I do, but I cannot read the Bible for him.
God gives us DIY responsibilities, whether we are new or seasoned Christians. A few of them include:
Bible Reading—a daily ingestion of the Word of God is vital to keep focused on the things of God. While on a 40-day fast in the wilderness, when the devil tempted Jesus to make stones into bread, the Lord said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:3-4). Whether we read or listen to the Bible on audible Bible resources, it is a DIY discipline to keep us strong. No one can do this for us.
Prayer—Talking to the Lord is our lifeline to the throne room of God. He waits to hear from each of us, longing for a deep level of communication with us. Getting to know Him during daily times of quiet thought and conversation helps us cultivate an abiding relationship with the Savior. We begin to hear and recognize His still, small voice—an invaluable source of comfort, direction, and wisdom for our lives. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them,” Jesus said in John 10:27. Spend time with the Lord in prayer and get to know His voice. There are times when only the voice of the Lord can comfort and help us.
Make disciples—Christ’s words in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) are, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” A huge part of being a Christian is influencing others by being an example of Christ’s character and love so they, too, may come to a saving knowledge of the Lord. Who learns about the character and nature of God by watching your life? Maybe it’s your coworkers or the little band of grandchildren following you throughout the day. That’s a DIY project the Lord has entrusted you to make disciples.
Only three DIY projects are listed above, but the Lord has many more. Why not ask Him what DIY project He has designed for you? It could be challenging, but oh, so rewarding!
© 2023, Chris Werre