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Stripping Bolts in the Darkness

The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.  Psalm 119:130 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.All I managed to do was strip the bolts.

I was trying to change the deflated tires on my hand truck. Inflating them was pointless. They were old and well past their usefulness. A local hardware store advertised tires for a relatively low price. So, I set to work in the garage in the limited space between the two cars. It would be a quick job. Unscrew the bolts, replace the wheels, and screw the bolts back on.

Unfortunately, there was little light to see what I was doing. Regardless, in my blindness, I pinched hard with two vice grips and strained with all my might. When the vice grips kept slipping off, I got angry at whoever put the bolts on so tightly. Who would do such a thing?

When a friend rolled the dolly into the daylight and began working on it with better tools, I immediately saw the problem. What I thought were bolts were the ends of the solid axle. The wheels were held on by one-way retaining washers and push nuts, not bolts. In all my strength and effort, along with blindness and lack of understanding, I managed to scar up the ends of the axles. When we finally removed the washers, we also had to sand down the results of my misguided efforts.

The scene reminded me of how I sometimes try to fix the broken or hurting areas of life without the direct light of God’s Word and the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. No matter how sincerely or passionately I try, I only frustrate myself and create more work by the damage caused by trying to do it in my strength.

But when I have the direct light of God’s Word shining on my situation, God reveals the source, cause, and remedy of the problem. When I look into “the perfect law of liberty,” continue in it, and am not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, God will bless my attempts.

Thank God for His unchanging, enlightening Word. By allowing it to enter our hearts and minds, we are enlightened. Then the Holy Spirit can do His work without stripping our spiritual bolts.

Ask God to enlighten all your situations so that you can see all aspects clearly.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Nate Stevens

As a “missionary kid” who grew up in a Christian home and church, Nate Stevens has enjoyed a 30-year banking career in a variety of leadership roles. He is the author of Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life and a contributing author of Divine Appointments, Christmas Moments, and Spoken Moments. He writes online devotionals for Christian Devotions, www.SingleMatters.com, www.ChooseNOW.org as well as articles for several other publications. Information about his books, devotionals, and articles is available at www.natestevens.net. He is available for speaking engagements at conferences, seminars, and Bible study groups for singles, young adults, young marrieds, and youth. Nate currently lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, is a newlywed to his beautiful wife Karen, and is an active dad with his two awesome kids, Melissa and Mitchell.