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Saturday, 25 August 2012

For the want of a nail ...!

There's an old proverb-rhyme that goes like this:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.For want of a shoe the horse was lost.For want of a horse the rider was lost.For want of a rider the message was lost.For want of a message the battle was lost.For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

It came to mind more than a week ago when I discovered that the lights on a trailer that I was towing weren't operating - and then that the fault was in my own car!  Being in the Gironde area of France, and having a caravan to tow back to magnificent Motherwell, this was a problem.  The trailer was small enough for the car lights to be seen by the driver behind - with the caravan in tow, the car disappears for the following driver!  To travel without proper lights is totally illegal in both France and the UK (and probably in just about every other country, as well), so the problem had to be resolved.

Thankfully, a friend of the site owner was spending a few days in a static - and he just happened to be an auto-electrician by profession!  He eventually tracked the problem down to a relay that passes the current from the car's electrical system to that of the caraven.  Just a little box about 2½" long, but I was stuck without it!  "For the want of a nail ...!!

This morning, the replacement eventually arrived from the UK - 2-3 days later than expected (therein lies a different story!).  I set myself to what was a simple and straightforward task of transferring each connection from the old box to the new.  I then connected the caravan electrics to the car - and nothing was working!  

Waiting for the replacement part to arrive had already resulted in a delayed departure; the cancellation of bookings in the UK; and the cancellation of a get-together with friends of very long standing.  I knew that if I didn't manage to get the lights working, I wouldn't even be able to get to a garage until Monday - and had no guarantee that my car would be attended to before the end of next week!  Well, I don't carry the fullest of toolboxes with me when I'm away on holiday - but I always have my most important tool with me: I can pray!  And pray I did - while still trying various connection combinations.  Then, I had an inspired thought.  I checked the 12v power to the component.  Nothing.  I attached it to an alternative 12v supply.  Suddenly, I was in business.  The problem with the relay was that it wasn't receiving the power.

As regular readers are aware, I always look for spiritual lessons in these situations.  I think that there are two, related, ones here.  First of all, it doesn't take much to stop our light shining for Jesus.  I just need to commit a "small" sin in order to break the connection that I have with my Saviour.  That's why I have to come to Him, on a daily basis, to seek afresh His forgiveness - claiming His blood and righteousness for myself.   The second is simply that, if there is no power in my life, then I am going nowhere.  All of the other connections may be fine - attendance at worship services; daily Bible reading; tithing; praying; witnessing - but if the power of God the Holy Spirit isn't flowing through me, nothing happens.  Jesus said: "... you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8).  Some of us think that, in our Christian lives, we can power on when something inside needs fixing – there is a problem, something is broken. Sooner or later we will come to a halt, powerless.

If you claim to be a disciple of Jesus, be sure to keep the power connected and flowing, by allowing God the Holy Spirit to flow through you.  You will then find that He also deals with those things that get in the way of a full relationship with the Son - and you light will shine again, brighter than ever before!

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