Wednesday, February 19, 2014

If I Had a Hammer

I Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

One of the greatest life truths about how we operate as people is, "To the man with only a hammer, every problem appears to be a nail!"  Our tendency is to fall back on to what it is we are most comfortable with.  That which we feel we have the most success with. 

For example, if the only thing you know how to do when there is an interpersonal problem is to argue and fight, when there is a problem, your go to place is anger and antagonism.  Whether or not it is the most effective tool for that particular problem, it is what you know, so that's what you do.

Generally speaking, we are very one dimensional as people.  We adopt behaviors and mindsets pretty early on in our development and we stick to them.  Making new choices can be difficult, and, even painful.  So we avoid those.  Even when the "hammer" causes as many problems as it fixes, we keep using it.

A few months ago I went with a team of men to help build a turkey coop for a troubled boys home in rural Ohio.  No one told me that I needed to bring anything.  I really only own a hammer, so I did bring that.  Everyone else brought a truckload(no exaggerating) of power tools and other assorted specialty items.  Needless to say, when we got there, the only help I could provide was on those rare occasions they actually needed something hammered.  I felt pretty silly.

The problem in our lives is not just that we only have one or two tools at our disposal, but that we are constantly facing problems that are in constant flux.  You can clean up one mess, to only find yourself in completely uncharted territory that you still aren't prepared for.  It can feel like we are always playing catch up. 

But what if there was one universal tool that spoke directly to every problem?  One second it is a hammer, the next it is a power drill.  If you could invent that, you would have ALL the money.  Everyone would have a tool bench with this one miraculous tool that adapted to perfectly fit the need.

People are a lot more difficult than nails and screws, wood and metal.  Our hearts are an ever changing, and often hurting, cornucopia of heart ache, old wounds, new frustrations and anxiety.  And we often approach everyones problems with our very limited self-created tools.  And, sometimes it helps, sometimes it.....does the opposite.

There is one tool that is perfectly suited for every problem.

The Cross.

In the very midst of our labyrinthic messes, the Cross comes in and speaks the exact truth that is needed.  Applies the correct salve to the wound.  Picks up the very thing that has fallen apart.

Paul reminds us that the one power we have is that of Christ Crucified.  The cross.  For the very reasons your life is falling apart Christ went to the cross.

Your problems will always change.  What works today, will be broken tomorrow.  How you cope with something now, will fail  you later.  Only the power of the Cross will ultimately satisfy. 

What anger causing you to boil?  Christ died to give you peace.

What resentment is eating you up?  Christ died to bring healing.

What relationships are broken?  Christ died to restore you to fellowship.

What self-hate is destroying you?  Christ died to give you perfect and lavish love.

When we bring our hurts, pains, disappointments and concerns to the Cross, Christ tenderly takes them from our shoulders and hangs them there with Himself.  With Christ they die.  And through Christ you will live. 

If everything feels hopeless, come to the Cross.  Even if you don't believe it fully.  Come to the Cross.

Every problem is a nail.  The hammer is the Cross.

What will you do with the hammer? 

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