The right tool for the job


Things break. I set out to fix something recently and needed the right tool for the job – a special wrench. Just one would do. So I went digging through my old toolboxes and realized that many of the parts I had and had learned to use were from when I was on the farm with my dad.

Today’s farmer must be versatile. Beyond a knowledge of animals and crops, add skills such as veterinarian, soil expert, builder, carpenter, mechanic, and human resources manager to the job description. Then add financial savvy and good business acumen, which are not optional extras! Such is the complexity of the industry. So never, ever say, “I’m just a farmer.” You are a very versatile person.

God made us all different and gave us unique and special skills to accomplish so many goals. We must respect and value the gifts and skills that God has given to each person.

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Not only do “things” break, but even our bodies can too. Developing pancreatic cancer a few years ago, I was impressed with the skills and wide range of tools available to today’s surgeon – all well used to remove a considerable portion of my bowels! Now, the “tools” of trained pharmacists – a cocktail of drugs – replace what my body can no longer manufacture, digest my food and frankly keep me alive.

But we all know that breakup isn’t just physical, it impacts minds, emotions, relationships and even society. Unfortunately, as we look at our world today, we see so many things that are broken. The best minds seem to be running in circles looking for “tools” to fix things.

Some are good and we take advantage of them. Yet ultimately, as we turn to the Bible, we discover that the problem is not in the outer things – but in our innermost being, or in what the Bible calls, “the heart.” . Bad deeds begin with a bad idea in “the heart.” Selfishness comes from a self-centered ‘heart’ (see Matthew 15:19). Only God knows the right tool to ‘fix’ this.

Roy Lessin said it well when he said this: “If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

Fifty-nine times in the Bible we find the word “Saviour.” Jesus’ disciple John sums it up this way: “…and we have seen and we bear record that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14).

This Savior, Jesus, came as one of us into a broken world; lived a perfect life, died on a cross and rose again. He comes to work in our inner brokenness, forgiving us and changing us. It is a lifelong process, as I have discovered that I need to be continually repaired and changed from whatever is broken in my life. I am being prepared for heaven, where all brokenness will be fixed forever. What hope! Have you accepted the Savior of God, the only one?

Ian was raised on a dairy farm near Limavady. He served as a minister in Ballyroney and Drumlee congregations in South Down, and most recently Moneydig Presbyterian in County Londonderry. Due to a serious cancer diagnosis, Ian had to retire from active ministry and now provides counseling and support to others with cancer.

If you would like to speak to someone about any of the issues raised in this article, please email Reverend Kenny Hanna, ICP Rural Chaplain at [email protected] or call him on 07938 488 372.


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