The Right Tool

Sunday, February 24, 2019
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Go To Dark Gethsemane"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 18:31-32 – For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (NIV)

I hate cleaning up after the horses in the winter. Everything sticks solid to the icy ground and is a real chore to pick up day after day. It is an even greater chore when my desire to do it in my own strength gets the better of me.

I use an aluminum shovel to pick up all those frozen horse apples. But loosening them from the ice takes more than that tool. Yet, don't ask me why, there are days when I am simply determined that I am going to do it with that shovel, instead of using the steel ice chopper that I also always carry in the toboggan.

Once I get started with the aluminum shovel, my frustration begins to rise. I keep thinking, One more good whack, and I'll have it! But what happens is that I just damage the edge of the shovel a little bit more each time. Finally, my better sense takes hold. I throw down the shovel, grab the ice chopper, and give those apples a solid smack, and they leap up out of the ice for easy pickup.

So why do I choose to do it the hard way? Why don't I just pick up the ice chopper first? I think that it's because I am a bit lazy and don't want to use two separate tools instead of just one. It's cold out, and I just want the job done. But in the long run, my thinking backfires, as the task takes twice as long.

This effort in futility reminds me that I can save myself a lot of frustration amidst each and every task of the day if I remember to stop and quietly whisper a prayer for God's guidance, strength, and wisdom. For when I do so, the Holy Spirit within is able to equip me with whatever I need to be the right tool in God's hand to accomplish whatever tasks that He has for me to do, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

So today, we each have a choice: to work within our own strength — which often leads to anger, frustration, and discouragement — or to submit quietly to His Holy Spirit within, that we might become the right tool in God's hand for the glory of His kingdom.

Prayer: Father God, what foolish and silly creatures we can be, always trying to do things in our own strength, which so often becomes just an exercise in futility. Bless us with the determination to submit to the power of Your Holy Spirit within us, that we may always be the right tool in Your hand for the right task. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you. I need to think before I run ahead of the Lord. Yet again!

    Dear Lynne,
    Just one comment. AMEN.

    Amen, Amen! I sure can relate to this devotion today. Thanks for writing it. Blessings.

    SHALOM Thank you. I don’t suppose a horse could be trained to use an “apple” box?

    Oh, my, Lynn, you’re on target with this one! I can easily think of a dozen situations like this! Thanks for the encouragement.

    Lynne: your devotional led me to look up all the words for “Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways;”. As always, your insights are much appreciated.

    Good Morning, Lynne. God’s lessons come in the weirdest places, sometimes. Love your sense of humour, and your ability to see the lesson in horse apples! Blessings!

    Oh Lynne, this is so very true. Some people even think that they don’t need to stop and ask, because God knows their need, but there is a definite principle at work – God wants us to connect with Him every moment, in every situation. I love your picture!

    Greetings Lynne,
    Thanks for another special devotional. Yes, how much less frustrating things could be in our lives if we would be more willing to “let go & let God”, who is ever ready to help and direct us.
    Blessings to you. I always appreciate your writings.

    Dear Lynn,
    I think you summed it up beautifully when you wrote:
    This effort in futility reminds me that I can save myself a lot of frustration amidst each and every task of the day if I remember to stop and quietly whisper a prayer for God’s guidance, strength, and wisdom.
    Amen! Thank you for your devotional today.

    Hello Lynne
    This is so true. Not sure why we do this to ourselves and not only once but almost like a habit. Crazy… but yes, God is there to give us the right answers, the solution and to lighten our work for sure.
    I watched a video several years ago, Buddy Bell. and he talks about God being like a crowbar, which is a very useful tool and can help solve several different problems. So God is my crowbar you might say. He is the right kind of tool to solve anything that comes my way.
    But, thanks for this devotional, enjoyed it a lot.
    God bless.

    Lynne, I agree totally. Old habits too do not go easily except when we find an easier way. I think the Holy Spirit injected His insight into your mind. ’Lynne the ice chopper ‘ and you know I find God does not even say ‘remember I told you this before..’ Our God is a God of perfect patience. I have a spinal condition and working exhausts me. I have found that on a number of occasions the Holy Spirit actually injects ideas I have never even thought of and to my delight they work PERFECTLY with less strain on my arms and thus my neck and thus much less pain. He is with me constantly. The next time you take the toboggan out try only taking the ice chopper… see what happens. This will be much easier on your neck and rest of your spine too. Enjoy your horses and enjoy the mundane tasks too. God is with you constantly even in the mundane. Thanks for writing this devotional. I have read many of yours in the past They certainly bless others, Lynne.

    Thanks Lynne for sharing this devotional with us. Cleaning up after an animal can be a daunting task, especially in winter that’s for sure. Blessings.

    Indeed. Flying horse apples. You do not see those in many devotionals. But well taken, I too strive stubbornly on. We may think that we are always in constant prayer with the Lord, but this proves that we are not.
    By the way, up where you are, in that isolated corner of BC, do you actually have sirens??

    Dear Lynn,
    I pray with you. Amen.
    I pray for God’s blessings for you both in the physical and the spiritual areas.
    May the power of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you for your sake and for the sake of those to whom you continue to witness.


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