Are You Holding the Shovel?


Anyone who's ever held a shovel knows you dig a hole one scoop at a time. Some ground is harder than others. 
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Sandrock? You're gonna build some muscles!
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Sometimes trouble is like that.
Many people find themselves wringing hands, sobbing into tissues, angry, hurt, ready to give up on life. Many times, they're angry at God for letting this happen. Doesn't He care? Why didn't He stop this? How could I be in such a deep hole?
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Too often they don't see the shovel in their own hands. They started digging waaaay back there. Just little spadefuls at first. Nothing that caused much of a problem. Nothing they couldn't handle.
They thought.


It may not have been anything bad. Sometimes we can get in a big mess trying to do God's will, thinking we're on the right track, but doing it in our own strength or for the wrong reasons. Christian work can be as big a pit as any if it isn't being done in God's strength for God's pursposes and with the right attitude.


Little spades have a way of quickly becoming snowshovels when we've decided to do it our way rather than depend on God. One wrong choice leads to another. A compromising situation leads to lies, which leads to...

Have you been there? Suddenly, you're in too deep to see a way out and you're ready to scream for help. But by then, the damage is done. There is no easy way out. You're gonna get dirty.

Thankfully, God doesn't leave us in the hole when we're serious about doing it his way. However, His way usually does not include a rope ladder and a helicopter. His way usually forces us to dig our way out the same way we dug our way in...one scoop at a time.


One shovelful after another, we start filling in the hole with right choices, good advice, wise counsel, and a huge dose of humility. God's way easily separates the ones who mean it from the ones who just want a quick exit. But don't worry about the others as they give you a jaunty wave from the sky. The ones swinging from the rope ladder will be back in the hole soon. God's way out leaves an indelible impression--one not easily forgotten.


What hole do you find yourself in today? What prison bars are you rattling, demanding an exit? Are you angry at God? At someone else?


Before you cast any blame, look in your hand? Are you holding the shovel?
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