This last weekend, I was replacing the McPherson struts in the front of my Ford Windstar. (Those are basically shock absorbers, except they also have the springs wrapped around them.) Now don’t get turned off to the story just because you aren’t into car repairs; the car talk isn’t what this is about anyway.
I spent about a half an hour to get the one off of the driver’s side. It took that long because the spring compressors didn’t quite fit the car and the nut at the top of the strut is in a place that a wrench barely fits. But that wasn’t the hard part –that part only took about a half an hour.
The difficult part was putting it back together. Each piece had to be carefully stacked on top of one another –first the main shock absorber with a rubber pad, then the spring on the pad (wrapping around around the shock) and then a Lazy Susan type of bearing on very top. This assembly had to be fit back up into a small cave-like opening up under the fender while at the same time taking care to poke the top of the shock through a hole into to the engine compartment where the top nut would be screwed onto it.
I made several attempts at getting this mess into just the right position and each time something would fall out of its place just before reaching the final destination. Altogether –shock absorber, spring, spring compressors and top bearing– weighed about the same as a bowling ball. Raising it into place required holding this stack of parts out in front of me while sitting on the garage floor. Each try drained a little more strength away and added to my frustration.
After about an hour and a half of struggling, I begged God for the strength to hold it up while I pushed it up into its home –my arms were shaking from holding this “bowling ball” out in front of me. He responded by providing me with the strength I asked for and it all come together. Afterwards, my arms were screaming and I knew there was another one to go.
About that time, my daughter Tracie drove up. I asked her for help with the remaining one on the passenger side. We restored her little red ‘73 VW bug last year so she has learned a lot about working on cars. And she is always willing to assist with my projects.
Like the first one, the second strut came off in about a half an hour. I stacked up all of the parts on the new strut while trying to mentally prepare for the upcoming ordeal. But whole assembly went right into place and we bolted it together in just a few –maybe twenty– minutes!
I was amazed and told Tracie that this one went together so much faster than the first one. Her reply was “Of course, I prayed about it.” (She’s such a sweet heart to pray for her daddy.) I shot back that I prayed for strength to get it into place and God helped me get it done. She replied “I asked Him to make it easy.”
Well, I burst out laughing –it made my heart so happy to hear such an innocent and direct plea come from this young girl. I had asked for strength to hold up what seemed like a ton of bricks for hours –she asked for it to be easy! It’s taken me to 56 years to trust the Lord as much as I do and she has that child like faith at an age of only twenty. It’s such a joy and encouragement to watch God working through her young life. I praise Him every day for such a blessing.
The saying “Be careful what you pray for, you might get what you ask!” really doesn’t apply to this story. It’s more about learning what I can trust God to do instead of just asking Him for help in what I can do. I pray that God will show you how trusting Him can make the difficult tasks of your life not only bearable, but easy and pleasant as well.