The Tape Measure

Monday, September 21, 2009
Listen to this devotional:

Matthew 7:26-27 – And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (ESV)

Some time ago, my tape measure lost its end. As I have had that tape measure for at least twenty-five years, I decided it was time for a new one. Like me, it had got a bit fragile and retreated inside its case. It had served me well. This particular design was robust, so I when I went to get a replacement at the hardware store, I asked for one of the same — only to be told that the specific model was no longer made by the company. So I bought the one offered, which came with a smaller companion.

A year or so later, the companion one broke. It just did not measure up to the task. (Sorry, I could not resist!) As I pulled the tape out to its supposed extent, the inner spring snapped. Grrr!

I was left with the housing and six feet of thin metal tape jiggling about in my hands, as I attempted to curtail its freedom. It went everywhere, akin to someone attempting to make an animal out of a balloon. Eventually, having roped and tied the tape, I left the remains, reluctantly, curled up in a cut-glass fruit bowl.

Recently, I saw my preferred make of tape measure — updated, and at a reduced price. If only I had found this first!

It made me consider how our choices are often founded on what we accept as truth. Sadly, in my case, fools, rushing in where angels fear to tread, come to mind. We need to check things out.

Whose advice are we listening to? What does the Word of God advise us?

We will find out to whom we have listened when we are stretched by the world. Either we are truly secure in Jesus, or we snap under pressure, because our attachment is elsewhere.

Prayer: Lord, we find ourselves where we should not be, outside of Your best plans for us. Somehow, our hearts and minds have been stretched; we have been seduced away from, or robbed of the security of Your peace and love. Lord, forgive us for our folly and bring us back under Your tender care before we snap. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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