With a new season making an appearance, I wanted to take inventory of lawn chairs and garden supplies. I fumbled with the lock on my shed, using a key I thought would work. Not so. I tried a second key. The lock didn’t open. I walked back to the house to look. Ten minutes later, I found a key on a ring marked “shed”.
Using the wrong key to unlock the shed provided more than frustration, wasted time, and exercise walking back to the house. It reminded me of the times I used wrong keys in life experiences.
In decision making, we often choose knowledge instead of the key of wisdom. We think we have all the facts—and we might–but reason and facts may not lead us to a wise decision. Wisdom asks, “How does that knowledge apply to me and what God wants me to do? James 1:5 (NLT) extends an invitation,
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
Sometimes we choose the keys of anxiety and impatience. We may work with a difficult person, wonder how to pay an unusual medical bill, or get held up in heavy traffic. The apostle Paul cautions us,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).
The key of prayer leads to unlocking peace.
Or perhaps our vision for a project, a job, or a relationship didn’t turn out as we expected. We clutch the key of disappointment in our hand, even though it won’t change the situation. It’s time to walk back to the house and look for the key of contentment. Scripture points out the apostle Paul’s resolution in struggles,
“… for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Philippians 4:11 NIV)
Think about the keys you’ve tried to use, only to be met with a lock that won’t budge. There’s more waiting for us when we choose the right keys. Isaiah said knowing the fear of the Lord is the key that leads to a sure foundation, and the apostle Paul adds another outcome,
“a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (1 Timothy 6:19 NLT)
Stable foundation, security, peace, true life. Let’s find and use the right keys.
– Marilyn Nutter