Jawbone of a Donkey

I took a picture of a mule’s jawbone (or maybe a horse’s, hard to tell). The animal had died weeks before, and the skeletal remains were scattered about, just off the path I was walking near our home in rural Mexico. I take lots of pictures, many of them capturing a beautiful scene. This photo, however, stands no chance of making it onto a Hallmark card.

I felt compelled to photograph the jawbone because it reminded me of the strange story in the Bible of the strong man Samson using a jawbone as a weapon to single-handedly dispatch 1,000 enemies. Samson then came up with a little ditty to celebrate the event. “With a donkey’s jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey’s jawbone I have killed a thousand men.” (Judges 15:16) Samson was far from a perfect guy, but God had him use what was at hand, the jawbone, to do what needed to be done.

Thankfully, it’s unlikely we’ll be called upon to fight such a gory battle, but nevertheless we all do have our battles to fight! The good news is that just as Samson found a jawbone to be within reach, we too can find the resources within reach to do what needs to be done. God doesn’t ask us to do something, to cope with something, or to conquer something without providing the resources to do it.

It’s unlikely that the resource we need is a yucky old jawbone. The “jawbone” I have found at hand when I needed it was the help or encouraging word of someone, financial help when I least expected it but greatly needed it, or reading just the right words when so much seemed to be going wrong. When we feel inadequate or overwhelmed it’s time to affirm the belief that God will give us what we need to do what needs to be done!

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:19)


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