The Tool Shed
I stepped into the wooden shed of the pioneer village and with warp-speed transported back more than 50 years. Like it was yesterday, I saw things through my three-year-old eyes. My grandfather’s tool shed revealed a by-gone era. Filled with tools that would make any museum proud, the shed would have had any doctor reaching for a tetanus booster.
I remember my grandpa’s warning to watch where I stepped.
As I looked down at the floorboards, holes - some larger than my little feet - exposed the dirt beneath. The walls, floor and bench were covered in tools, many I didn’t recognize. The sun shining through the one small window illuminated the swirling dust from our arrival along with a multitude of cobwebs.
Grandpa found what he was looking for and we headed out to the tractor he was repairing. I wanted to explore the tool shed in more depth. However, I was admonished to never go there without an adult. It seemed like such a crazy notion since we could go just about anywhere else on the farm. To make sure I didn’t test the rule, both Grandpa and Grandma informed me that there were rats in the shed and they could bite. With that warning, I never entered the shed alone.
Just as Grandpa’s shed contained tools he needed to keep the farm and all his equipment running, God provides the tools we need to successfully navigate life. Just as important as having the tools is knowing how to use them and then doing so. Although not an exhaustive list, here are some of the tools God provides.
1. His Word. The Bible provides the direction we need to manage every aspect of life. Second Timothy 3:16 summarizes it well, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.”
2. Spiritual armor. God has provided both protection in battle and weapons to withstand the attacks from the enemy, the devil. The armor includes the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:10-17)
3. Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out and all believers benefit from His guidance, comfort, discernment, and peace. Although He is always with us, we must choose to listen and respond to His promptings to garner the benefit of His powerful presence.
4. Prayer. Often people try to complicate prayer. However, it is simply how we talk with God. Just as we talk with a family member or friend, we can share with our Heavenly Father our concerns, fears, joys, frustrations, or any other thoughts on our minds. He desires communication with us and doesn’t mind even the smallest thing as we converse with Him throughout our day.
5. Praise and worship. Entering into praise and worship aligns our thinking with God’s perspective and focuses our attention on the One who grants eternal life, who provides for every need and comforts every sorrow. With our focus on Him as our source, we keep our problems in proper perspective.
On days when life just doesn’t seem to be flowing well, go to our spiritual toolbox and pull out the tools God has provided, using them to keep life moving on the path He has ordained for us. He always provides what we need to accomplish our heavenly assignments.