Matthew 4:18-22; 11:28-30; 16:24-27
All of Nasir’s troubles seemed to revolve around one thing.
Nasir slammed the door of the garage behind him. The angry words he had just shouted at his brother were ringing in his ears. He kicked at the garden hose lying beside his tool bench. What could go wrong next?
It had been a terrible day. He had been at odds with everyone ever since he got up this morning. First of all, his kid brother Kingston had left the house early, wearing the shirt Nasir had planned to wear. When he had complained bitterly to Mom, she hadn’t done a thing about it.
Then at school, he had tried to get Emmett, a guy from his first-period class, to give him answers for the math test he’d missed last week. Nasir knew that wasn’t right, but when Emmett refused, they’d had a big argument. I don’t see why he couldn’t have given me some help, Nasir thought angrily. That test was pretty important, and what difference would it make to Emmett, anyway?
Things had gone from bad to worse. In P.E., the coach had told him he was fouling too much. When Nasir tried to tell him that it was the other guy, the coach had accused him of mouthing off.
To top it all, when he came home, Kingston had confessed he’d ripped the sleeve of Nasir’s shirt. That was the last straw. Nasir had exploded! Then he had stormed out to the garage. Maybe he’d just stay out here by himself and work on his car until dinnertime.
What’s wrong with me? he thought to himself. I just can’t seem to get along with anybody. He stared gloomily down at the transmission he had taken out of his car last Saturday. This thing wasn’t working right either. It was about as messed up as everything else seemed to be. Nasir picked up the wrench lying beside the transmission case. The top was almost ready to come free—just two more bolts to go. He loosened them carefully and worked it off.
Would you look at that! The first gear in the transmission was broken, and several of the teeth were missing. He frowned and turned the gear a bit. Obviously, it was never going to work this way. He wiped his hands on a rag as the door into the garage opened and his dad came in.
“Hi, Son, how’s it going?” he inquired. “Have you found the trouble with that transmission yet?”
“Yeah, I’m afraid so,” Nasir replied with a discouraged sigh. “And I don’t think I can fix it.”
“Here, let me take a look. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a transmission apart, but maybe between the two of us we can figure it out.” Taking off his jacket, he came over to where Nasir was standing by the workbench. Together they inspected the part.
“Well, it looks like your main gear is broken,” he said after a moment. “If it can be fixed, all the rest of them will work too.”
Later that night, Nasir lay in bed thinking over the problems of the day. Suddenly a picture of that transmission flashed back into his mind. His dad’s words echoed in his thoughts, “If this gear can be fixed, all the rest of them will work too.”
Could it be that all of these problems he’d been having with everyone around him were his fault? Almost against his will, his mind began to draw a parallel. He was out of step with everyone around him, just like that first gear had not been meshing with the gears around it. The transmission gear couldn’t help itself, and it seemed Nasir couldn’t help himself either. But he knew Who could.
Suddenly, he wanted that help. He buried his head in his arms and prayed, “Jesus, please help me. Nothing seems to be going right, and I know it’s because I need You.” All the pent-up frustrations and troubles of the past months seemed to pour out of him. If his heart was right with Jesus, these other problems would be straightened out too!
Nasir’s prayer was heard that night, and his life was totally turned around. The way he’d been treating his younger brother, the pressures he’d put on some of his friends, his antagonistic attitude toward those in authority—all this changed! Nasir felt differently about these people, and his new attitude showed it.
Nasir determined that Jesus was going to be first in his life, and that he would always try to treat people the way he would if Jesus were standing right beside him.
Jesus made a dramatic difference in Nasir’s life. He can in yours too!