Friday, June 19, 2015


Last night our church family threw Abby a bridal shower. I was asked to give a devotion. I started by thinking I would write about tools and being helpers, help mates, and working together. Then I read part of an "operator's manual" for a wheelbarrow (who knew they had such things?!) and the Lord showed me a new direction to go in. This is the result:

Wheelbarrows are a real part of life at our home. They haul rocks, hay bales, dirt, firewood, manure, fencing, and whatever else we can get into it or balance across it. Wheelbarrows make work on the farm easier, less stressful, and more efficient. Wheelbarrows can also be fun to ride in or race!
The design of a wheelbarrow is quite simple really: one (sometimes 2) wheels, two handles, a tray or bin, and a brace. If one of these things is missing or broken, the wheelbarrow loses its effectiveness and is a whole lot less fun!

The wheels. They must be filled with air to work properly. Both you and Justin must be filled with the Holy Spirit. Eph. 1:13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” Without God’s precious gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit cannot indwell us and guide us. Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”  If one wheel is flat, the wheelbarrow will still work, but it definitely will not be efficient and actually causes more stress! Fun is definitely out of the picture. So in your marriage be sure you’re doing your part by staying in God’s word and keep being filled with the Holy Spirit.
The two handles of the wheelbarrow. They must be strong, sturdy, and work together towards the same goal. In a marriage both people must be working towards the same goal. Proverbs 14:1 “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Let nothing come between you and Justin. Always be in honest communication with one another so that you are always both working towards a common goal. Ecclesiastes 4:12 “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
The tray or bin of the wheelbarrow. It is used to carry the load. It distributes the weight over the wheel which lessens the burdens. From the operator’s guide for a wheelbarrow: “It's easy to lose control of a wheelbarrow that has been overfilled or is being rolled downhill with a heavy load. To prevent this, the load inside the tray should be centered and balanced over the wheel to maximize control.” In a marriage, prayer is the bin. Praying together distributes the burdens and transfers the weight to the wheels, which remember represents the Holy Spirit. Even when you cannot utter words, the Holy Spirit will bring your prayers to God. Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” 1 Peter 5:7  “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” Prayer makes the marriage more efficient and less stressful and keeps your load centered.
The brace of the wheelbarrow. The braces support the whole thing, balance it, keep it from falling apart, and prevents it from tipping over. Make God the brace in your marriage. Reliance on Him will keep you balanced and supported. If He is the center of your marriage, it will be difficult for you to tip over. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” The brace on a wheelbarrow also acts as a brake. Seeking God in all decisions controls your speed and guides you when there are forks in the road. Another function of the brace is to connect the parts of the wheelbarrow together: The brace is connected to both the wheels and the bin. God through the Holy Spirit and prayer keeps the whole thing together and moving in the right direction. Lastly the brace is used to rest the wheelbarrow when a respite is needed. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” When you feel overwhelmed, take a break and simply rest in the Lord. He will bear you up. Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;”

A marriage is a lot like a wheelbarrow. A life-partner makes life easier, less stressful, more efficient, and a whole lot more fun. For the marriage-wheelbarrow to work things need to be balanced and all the parts must be working together and with a common goal. And now every time we all see a wheelbarrow I hope we will be reminded to pray these things for you and Justin.

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