Life is not a jar of pickles


Have you ever tried to open a new jar of pickles (or peanut butter!) by yourself only to get frustrated, irritated and defeated?

If you’re anything like me, you try opening the jar using all so-called home remedies. First, your bare hands then with a towel or one of those rubber grippers that are designed for such a purpose. I usually then try running the neck of the glass jar under hot water to help it pop off easier (no idea why this supposedly works, sometimes it’s a miracle cure, sometimes it’s not).

When all the known tricks fail, we usually hand over the offending jar to our spouse or even child to attempt to open. “I give up, you try,” is what I usually say. Then when the other person manages to open the jar, we are grateful but also can’t help but feel like it was a team effort. “I loosened it for you!”

It hit me when I was doing a Bible Study lesson about being victorious over life’s hurts, habits and hangups that life is not a jar of pickles. It really doesn’t work when we try to solve issues ourselves, get worked up, screw it up—then decide to give God a try. I think we all have a way of doing this—we learn to give something over to God but we often try to “loosen it for him first.” It’s only when things get completely out of hand that we realize letting God take care of it is a good idea.

Well, life is not a jar of pickles (or peanut butter for that matter). God doesn’t need our help to loosen it and it would be a lot less painful and frustrating for us if we don’t try to deal with it first.

One definition of humility is realizing we can’t manage our lives at all, that we are God’s tool for doing the “hands and feet” work in our lives. To me, true humility means turning to God first instead of taking the opportunity to screw things up on my own first.

Now if only I would remember this wisdom in the moment!

This is a revised version of a blog I wrote anonymously a couple of years ago.

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