Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Do you use the tools that are given to you?

by Katherine Loop

Day after day, John had been diligently working on building a house. Although he felt discouraged, he kept working. . .and working. His father had given him this assignment, and he wanted to do his best.

Yet, strange as it may sound, John worked without good tools. While John had many tools he could have used, he seemed intent on using a hammer he'd crafted out of a stone. His hands were raw from trying to split and nail wood without proper equipment.

Though it may sound stranger still, John apparently worked without consulting his father's blueprint. The house looked strangely lopsided, testifying to John's tendency to work wherever it seemed best that day, instead of according to a plan.

"Say, John, what are you doing?" The question came from Michael, one of John's neighbors.

"Just building," John replied, hardly looking up from his work.

"I can see that," Michael consented. "But with what are you building, John? Didn't your father give you tools? Why aren't you using them?"

John paused for a moment to process this question. It was true: His father had given him tools to help him build. And, for that matter, his father had given him a blueprint. But John hadn't paid much attention to the things he had been given by his father. Oh, to be sure, he looked at them everyday. He admired their beauty. He even talked about them and their uses at his local building society. But when it came to the daily chores of building, he'd just set about it the same way everyone in his town did: coping the best he could with tools of his own making, and choosing where to build according to what made the most sense.

After waiting for a minute for a reply, Michael continued, "John, don't you realize how valuable a gift your father has given you? He gave you all the equipment you need. Here you are, struggling and scraping on your own, when your father has given you a gift beyond description you can use right here in the middle of this rubble. The blueprint you left home--it contains his very words and thoughts. Why would you ever set out to work without it?"

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29 (KJV)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

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