A few years ago--maybe many years ago--we were able to visit a store called The Knife Works or something like that. It was big and very interesting. And I learned more about knives than I ever thought I would want to know. Eventually I was shown the small paring knife display. Now, I am particular about my knives. I have been told that I need to change what I use--that no self respecting food preparer would ever use what I use. In my knife drawer are a couple of chef knives--I keep them only for visitors and my husband. My “chef” knife of choice is a "serrated bread knife" and there are my kids who probably want to get rid of my favorite! My next choice of knife was a small thin blade paring knife that is often given away free for promotions or perhaps to be found 3 for a dollar in the dollar store. To me, it is a very handy do almost everything knife. It slices and pares and trims and flexes to core apples or cut up carrot sticks. And has many other handy uses. They often go to the garden with me for harvesting. I have many of them in various colors just in case I can no longer buy one! Again, my family absolutely cannot understand my preferences!!
So back to the knife store visit! I was encouraged to pick out a knife to buy, all designed, I suppose, to update my preferences. I did finally choose a couple of knives made by a famous knife company. One was a smooth blade and one was a serrated blade and both looked very sharp and neither had a handle shape that I thought I liked. But, my family was at least a little happy about my addition to my kitchen knives. I put them with my other knives! And there they stayed. They were not my first choice of a knife when I chose one to use. They stayed there for several years. They added to the knife collection, but I chose the cheap knife every time and got distressed if even one of my trusty favorites came up missing.
One day I had to cut up a very large bunch of rhubarb! And my trusty knife choices were not up to the job, with the speed that I needed to have to accomplish the task. Sigh!!!! I finally decided to give my no longer new never used knife a try.
What a wonderful knife tool I had available to me to use!!! It was sharp! It made my tough job so easy! It had been there for several years, yet I chose to ignore it. I thought I knew what I wanted. It has made me think--God has provided me with the best tool for me to use every day. Often it sits ignored on the shelf and I depend on my own choice of what to do. What a shame! I need to give my unused tools of study and prayer a chance to show me how valuable they are--the answers to my troubles. They are ways to make my life easier. I have them for a reason and every day they can make my day go so much better! Just give in and use them! I learned to be careful. Those knives that I reluctantly began to use were extremely sharp! Since that first time of use, my fingers have learned that the hard way. We all have something that can be very sharp. It cuts and hurts and inflicts damage. We have sharp tongues. How sad that I am guilty of a sharp tongue. I need to keep it in a sheath and away from inflicting damage. Be careful, sharp cuts hurt! They hurt you if you receive, they hurt others when you don’t allow the Chef to keep control.
Eventually several more of the little red knives were added to my knife collection and I treasure them. I keep very good track of them and frequently count them to make sure that I have them all. I keep several unused as spares for the future. My new favorite choice! No longer do I choose the cheap little thin blade knife first for most cutting jobs. I have switched my choice to something better. God offers me something better, I just need to take advantage of His better way which is way better than my way!
One day one of the little red handle knives got too close to a stove burner with flames. The flame was hot and melted the handle of my knife and I was sad.
I had neglected to take care and keep it safe. It was still usable but not near as pretty and did not feel as good in my hand. We get subjected to the fires of life almost daily. If we allow the Master Chef to help, He gets us out of the fires with scars but still useful to Him. And, hopefully we stay away and out of the hot fires of sin and remain useful to Him.
Now, my scarred and deformed knife was given the duty of travel to far places and to help in more rough ways. It became my sacrificial knife since it was no longer the perfect knife in my collection. It got to go on picnics. It got to go visiting various places. While I still valued it, I knew I wouldn't mind quite so much if it somehow was left behind and lost. In its handicapped condition, it still had an exciting knife life!
Until one day------------! It came up missing!
Neither of us could remember where we had last used it or seen it. We searched--in the knife drawer, in the small knife jar, on the cupboard, behind things on the cupboard, in the compost just in case it was accidentally put there. We searched in the garden where compost gets placed for the chickens to scratch in. NO KNIFE! No more travels for it.
We too get lost, God, the Master Chef, searches for us, He wants us found and in our place, ready to work for Him. Unlike us, He does know where we are but we have to want to be found. Otherwise, He will let us stay lost until we want to come back home and fit into His plan for us.
This week, the garden had some weeds growing in the part that won't get planted this year. The chickens have a big bug scratching area this year!!! They love to hear the tractor and tiller come out to be used and do their chicken run to see who can get there first! They have a love affair with the tractor. This tilling time seemed to bring an unusual sound. The Gardener decided to have a look. Taking time to observe, he noticed something that looked a bit different. And there was the lost and missing knife! It had been spending a couple of years buried in the dirt. Chicken scratching, spring and summer rains for years, winter freezes, and many times of tilling had not destroyed the missing knife. It still had its fire-scarred handle. It still had its red color. There were only a couple of scratches on its handle and the blade was sort of curved, though still sharp. I was so happy to have the missing knife once again in my hands. I vowed to keep better track of it and to not allow it to become missing ever again. I was so happy to have it back!!! I am reminded of all the Bible parables of the lost and found and joy at the return of the missing. This was a Bible story in real time for me. I know the happiness God has for the return of one of His special helpers that have lost their way, for whatever reason, no matter how long they have been gone. He celebrates and wants us to stay with Him forever.
Found at last!
PS to Found!
Though it would have cut things just fine, my husband couldn’t accept the curve. He attempted to straighten the curve in the found knife! And the newly found knife yielded to the attempt of straightening and is now broken. Such a sad end for the long lost and found knife. Though my husband cannot now fix the knife, God can take our broken lives and make them whole again. I am going to let Him make me whole again! I invite you to let Him make you whole and unbroken too