Tools

There is nothing quite like having the right tool for the job. But, new things and new ways of doing things come out of not having the right stuff, too!

I feel like the word “tools” has taken on new meaning or application. I really tend to just think of tools in a very physical sense – hammer, radial arm saw, drill, wrench, etc. But I have heard talk about tools as creative ways we can use to tackle a situation – the skill set and/or resources available to us for problem solving. This might be a useful way to look at things.

There are many, many tools out there but sometimes we need to invest in a new one for a particular need. Learning new ways of dealing with relationships can be extremely beneficial. The skills needed to work with so many others with such varying needs are only becoming more and more complex.

If you find yourself running into the same problem over and over again, it might be time to solve it more thoroughly so it doesn’t keep popping up. For example, if one is always running out of money before the end of the month there are some ways to solve that problem: find a better paying job, add a part time job, create a more restrictive budget and stick to it, sell some items, or ask for a raise. These are just an example of brainstorming and looking at the tools/ideas that are available to possibly solve that particular problem.

Sometimes you have to dig around and pull out your courage, your ingenuity, or your determination. Other times it is important to have the feedback from a supportive friend, a counseling session, a walk to clear your mind, or to hone a particular skill that is needed for the challenge.

Some people start off facing any challenge with prayer. They seek God’s creative solutions. They consult His Word.

For others, seeking God is the last resort, after every human effort has failed.

I don’t know what tools you have, need, or want in your tool chest. Prayer needs to be my first response to a situation because it puts me in the right mind frame to work on the solution. It reminds me my place in the universe and Whose I am. And I need God to give me His insight and help me see the path.

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 
have mercy on me, Lord,
    for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust in you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
    abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
    listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
    because you answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
    no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
    will come and worship before you, Lord;
    they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
    you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
    you have delivered me from the depths,
    from the realm of the dead. [Psalm 86:1-13, NIV]

May you consider prayer an essential tool for daily life!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: THE WEEK OF THE HOLY

Darkness

Do you know someone who lives “in the dark”?

There seem to be so many more people struggling with anxiety and depression these days. Sometimes it is the person you least expect. The challenges of loving someone who find themselves frequently “in the dark” are heartbreaking. Please pray for not only those who struggle but also their friends and family members.

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I don’t have particularly dark days but I know people who do. I can’t imagine living in a shroud of darkness, struggling to find light in a day. I know it is disorienting, intimidating, and overwhelming. If you have been in a dark space, you know what I am saying. Even though I can use my imagination, sometimes I am at a loss at how to assist someone struggling through a dark time. I can always pray, and I do, but there are times something more tangible is needed.

It is true that a dark time can be the result of sin and confession and absolution is an amazing gift to someone struggling in that way. It is amazing how guilt, shame, and unconfessed sin can create darkness in our lives. Healthy Biblical counseling can be a great blessing. But that isn’t the only reason for depression. Depending on the circumstance, a psychiatrist and a psychologist can help. Medicine can be useful. Supportive friends and family, healthy eating, regular sleep patterns, and exercise can all be components that benefit someone stuck “in the dark”.

Pay close attention to those you know who struggle in this way. A little extra time from you, a listening ear, and encouraging words may be a way to help them (or their loved one) navigate through a dark space.

On the Road,

Liz

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