Have You Checked Your Equipment Lately?
Feb 21, 2016 04:02AM
● By Bonnie Lyn Smith
“I’ll be back in a few days to collect the equipment. Try to run the fans and dehumidifiers as long as you can stand it,” he said as he nodded reassuringly and left my house.
Seven air movers, two dehumidifiers, two walls, two ceilings, one floor, two bathrooms, and two vanities later, we are drying out a freak flooding incident that greeted us when we returned from church a week ago.
And his parting shot was:
“We’ll be back to get our equipment.”
You know what? The equipment, while loud enough to have to shout to be heard over it, is not bothering me. Sure, I have to move the air movers to get to my cabinets. Yes, two bathrooms are currently unusable. Accessing the laundry machines is a challenge.
But I actually like the equipment. It makes me feel safe, in-process, moving forward, working toward a remedy. I dread its removal, to be honest.
Pro-vaccine or not, my whole family volunteered for flu shots this past autumn so we would be healthy and ready to see my father who was undergoing chemotherapy at the time. Sadly, we never did see him again, but we were equipped.
When my youngest son faced cognitive and emotional/mental health struggles, we didn’t want to leave him to fumble through life in the dark. We pursued specialists, several forms of therapy, vitamins, supplements, etc. It was important to have every tool at his disposal, and as he learned to manage the challenges, he could choose the ones that worked. He was equipped.
Likewise, when my life shakes itself upside-down, topsy-turvy, backwards and forwards, and I’m unclear how to proceed through any murky or unclear situation, I want to hang on with everything I’ve got to what God has equipped me with. I want to share it, for sure, but I will not let anyone take it from me. They can’t, really.
Have a problem that needs solved?
- Financial stress?
- Moral/ethical dilemma?
- Relationship drama?
- Parenting issue?
- Decision to make about work or caring for a loved one?
- Selfishness being tested?
- Patience on low?
The Apostle Paul reminds us in his letter that all Scripture is from God and to be used for reproof, correction, training in righteousness…that we may be
equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV, Apostle Paul writing
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Maybe you feel you are just swirling with your head barely above water to catch a breath now and again and can’t even picture being equipped beyond getting through your stress, busy calendar, or current crisis.
Yes, I know many people in that same boat. I get it. I’m right there with you.
The good news is that nothing is wasted when we offer it to God. Take your messy marriage, wayward child, scary boss, painful loss, mismanaged finances, hidden addiction, and place it at the Throne of Christ. Ask Him to help you, and know that in so doing, He will equip you through it, not only to walk through the circumstances but also to use it eventually for every good work.
Think that’s a tall order? I can tell you that when I do this, He performs a redemptive work in every situation I hand over.
Is there a catch? Well, in some ways, yes, but it’s simple. It’s part of yielding, trusting, and acknowledging Him as Savior.
We have the equipment, but we need to read it. Scripture doesn’t breathe itself onto us. We need to consult it, read it in context, commit it to our hearts and minds, and believe it.
Need more proof? Check out this Ephesians passage.
Ephesians 4:10-14, ESV, Apostle Paul writing
He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
I read Paul here as saying we are being equipped for:
- The work of ministry
- Building up the body of Christ
- Unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God
- Fullness of Christ
- Stability (no longer tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, human cunning, craftiness in deceitful schemes)
I don’t know about you, but I need that particular equipment. It sounds like it’s not just about us; it’s for the greater good. In a world that swirls in selfish ambition and personal gain, doesn’t building each other up sound so revolutionary—so, well, fulfilling?
So I ask myself, and I ask you:
How is our equipment doing?
Have we checked it lately?
Is it tuned up, readily accessible, or are we a little rusty?
If it’s been a while since you checked your equipment manual, His Word, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just start (again) today. You won’t regret it. Equipping is a daily act, sometimes even moment by moment.
Hebrews 13:20-21, ESV, anonymously written
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen [emphasis mine].
Speaking of equipment, here’s an added bonus if you need help calibrating your pressure gauge, as I frequently do.
Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about parenting, marriage, mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, the healing cloak of Jesus, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.
Her book, Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day, offers anecdotes on all of these subjects and Scripture for each situation as well as Book Discussion Questions for deeper exploration.