If I Were a Hammer

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I used to teach fourth grade, and often kept my students’ attention by using visual aids. Since you and I don’t have a classroom, our imaginations will have to do. Picture me (as young, thin and beautiful, of course) holding a hammer. It’s a perfectly good hammer, but what could it possibly accomplish by itself?  Can it pound so much as a single nail on its own?  Of course not.

On the other hand, if a master craftsman chose to build a fine house, and wanted to use this hammer in the process, would the hammer be up to the task? Saying it was or wasn’t up to the task would be stretching things a bit, don’t you think? The task would be entirely in the hands of the master, not the tool. If this hammer was the one he wanted to use, and if (suspend your disbelief for a moment, please) it had a will and a voice of its own, we would all laugh to hear it say, “Oh, master builder, I just don’t know if I can pound that nail!  Perhaps you should have chosen another tool!  I fear that I will fail you!” Silly hammer!

By the same token, when God chooses to use us by calling us to some service, we are foolish to worry about whether or not we’re “up to the task.” Of course we’re not up to it, not on our own, anyway! It’s the Master’s right to use any person he pleases, and he will make those he chooses fit for the job. Feeling inadequate today? May we all remember that we are in the Master’s hands and he can equip us for any task.

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21).

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