The other morning, I was in a hurry to leave for work. Aware that I needed to scrape a sticker off of my truck before leaving, I had procrastinated in tackling the job. It was a little frosty outside, so for more reasons than one; I wanted to get the job finished in a hurry. I grabbed a scrawny steak knife and started to scrape. Of course, it was more of a chore than I anticipated and the glue from the sticker was not cooperating. A decision was made that the knife was not the right tool. I needed a real scraper; you know, one of those metal things with a wide blade. I knew I had one somewhere, but time was not on my side. The clock was ticking and if I expected to get to work on time, I needed to get moving.
Hurrying back inside the house, I looked in the cabinet thinking I knew where the scraper was, anticipating I would soon be on my way. To my surprise, after rummaging through cans of spray starch, paint, rolls of tape, vinyl gloves and various other things “voila” there it was, the metal scraper thing. I hurried out to the truck and with two swift swoops my mission was accomplished. Wow! That was easy enough; all it took was the right tool. I even made it to work on time!
Whenever I examine what tools would be the most useful to me when completing a task, I remember the drudgery of reading the instructions first. However, realizing that having the right tools but not reading the instructions carefully, I only prolong the agony of effectively finishing the project. My thoughts expanded beyond practical everyday chores, contemplating how things would be if I had the right tools in other areas of life. If these tools were accessible and were actually used, how more fulfilling life would be?
While pondering the use of the right tools, I surmised that the most effective tool that provides instructions in our everyday life is the Word of God. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105 KJV). The light of God’s word illuminates the way we travel, helps us to see where we are headed and serves to transform our lives. Without the Word we stumble, we fall and we “prolong the agony” of being trapped in the darkness of this world.
While reading a devotional Walk with God, by Chris Tiegreen, entitled Wisdom through Meditation, it states, “Churches are full of people who hear the Word of God preached on Sunday and then have forgotten it on Monday. There are many tools to incorporate God’s truths into our lives, but the first, after prayer, is to meditate on it. What does this mean? It means to chew on it, think of what God does with it and why it came from His mouth, how we’ve failed in the past, and how it might be applied in our everyday lives. The Word of God is not spoken to make us smart: it is spoken to change and conform us to the bright image of the living God.”
It may appear to be so much easier to improvise, use some substitute, take a shortcut, or to avoid God’s Word completely, than to read it, meditate on it and use it effectively in our lives. However, after years of reading self-help books, confiding in others, trying things our own way, ignoring the obvious pitfalls, or stumbling around blindly in the dark, we may finally succumb to the realization, that using the right tool could possibly make life simpler, more fruitful and rewarding. At that point we may even wonder why it took us so long, why we had to make so many mistakes, why we had to get hurt so many times and for so long, before agreeing there is only one way, God’s way. The confirmation of how God’s Word really works only occurs when we embrace it and incorporate it into our daily lives.
In the article entitled, The Hope Within, the author Charles Stanley wrote, “The power we need to live this Christian life isn’t dispersed from “above” but is released from within the life of every believer through Christ’s indwelling presence.” He went on to say that, “Spiritual transformation and growth are achieved not by trying harder but by submitting to Christ and allowing Him to express Himself through you.” Submitting means to surrender and concede, to allow something to transpire. So, maybe submitting is the answer. Like the morning I went on a search to find the scraper to remove the sticker from the windshield of the truck, I was eventually able to find it where I “guessed” it might be. Fortunately, we don’t have to guess or try harder to find the right tools to resolve life’s dilemmas. As we study the Word of God, the Holy Spirit who lives within all believers, eliminates the guessing games and will lead us directly to the most effective tool, to God’s will, purpose and plan for our lives.