The Perfect Suburban Survival Gift

by Brian Goins

What’s red, has a white cross on it, and is craved by every nine year old and suburban dad?

Yeah, that’s right, the Swiss Army Knife.

I’m not sure if they are standard issue in the Swiss Army, but it may be the reason they stay neutral in every war. You never hear Bear Gryllis say, “This episode of Man vs Wild is sponsored by Swiss Army Knives: The Ultimate Survival Tool.”

The knife can cut through butter, as long as it’s at room temperature. If you find yourself trapped by tiny branches, never fear, they packed a tiny saw in your arsenal. If you’re on a date and see some shoddy nails across the table, let your file do the talking. The barbeque joint ran out of toothpicks? That’s what the skinny white pick is for. You don’t even have to wash it before you put it back in its sheath.

Spot a nose hair before you head up on stage? Across from the toothpick sits a set of tweezers. Can’t untie the Christmas bow on your gift? Let those elf like scissors spring into action. Your glasses fall apart right before the movie? No worries, it’s equipped with the smallest screwdriver known to man.

In the words of my childhood hero, Crocodile Dundee, “That’s not a knife!”

Knowing we would face huge challenges in this world (John 16:33), God gave his kids something more than a Swiss Army knife. The night before he died, Jesus said to his disciples that God would give them a Helper – “to be with you forever” (John 14:16). (Unlike Swiss Army Knives. They have a way of slithering out of your pocket.)

We tend to think of the Spirit as a one-tool wonder. He slaps us on our hand when we sin. And while he, like a knife, cuts through our heart when we sin (John 16:8), Jesus outlined a few more tools in the Spirit arsenal:

  • A Can-Opener: He opens up the meaning of God’s word (John 14:26)
  • A Flashlight: He guides us in all things (John 15:13)
  • A Power Source: He enables us to love and endure all things (Rom. 8:1-17; 26-28)

Look at the before and after pictures of the disciples. Before the Cross, they cowered; after His death, they courageously preached before angry mobs, sang in prisons, and endured stonings.

The difference? They unwrapped God’s ultimate Survival Tool: The Spirit.

Every day we face something beyond our power to accomplish. Are you using God’s gift today?