By Deborah Wuehler
Proverbs 10:26 “As vinegar is to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to the one who sends him.”
The more I encouraged one of my sons today, the more cheerful he was as he went about his chores and schoolwork. And, although I encouraged another son equally, he became extremely distracted by all that was around him and found it difficult to complete anything. I found myself becoming angry with this one and even threatened to take away a privileged field trip. Then, that still, small voice reminded me to lead him gently to the Word.
We have a chart in our house from Doorposts called the “Go To The Ant Chart.” The chart lists many scriptures on diligence, perseverance, and a lot on sluggards! I asked him to read to me a portion of the chart, and since he perceived this to be his discipline, he naturally rebelled at the idea and began to cry. I sent him to his room and encouraged him to pray. It wasn’t long before we were reconciled. I explained to him that I wanted him to read to me because I needed the words of life as much as he did. I shared with him that the same Power that created the universe from nothing by only His Word, was the same Power that would create in him what he needed for his tasks. He needed the desire to will and to do of God’s good pleasure by obeying his parents, and he had absolutely no power of his own. He needed the power of God’s Word to create something from nothing in him.
Jesus is that Word. He is the Amen (the “Let it be so”) of creation! My son soon “saw the light” and was then able to cheerfully read aloud, and, boy, did I learn a lot! He read Proverbs 10:26 which says, “As vinegar is to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to the one who sends him.” I explained how it is painful and irritating to require something of someone, and they pretend to hear you but don’t really listen and follow through. My son got the message, but I was being challenged as well.
I began to think about what the Lord has sent me to do. At times, He has sent me to give a quiet answer, or to have a patient ear. He has said, “stop what you&’re doing and pray,” or He has asked me to actively love an enemy. There have been times when I have not really listened and have definitely not obeyed. I have been like vinegar to the teeth of God, and smoke to His eyes. And, I have found myself, again, at the feet of the only One who has the words of life. He can create in me what it takes to heed Him. And, I find forgiveness and grace to help in my time of need.
“Lord, be The Amen in my heart and in my children’s hearts. Let it be so that we continually come to You for words of life. Thank you for creating something in us where nothing was before, and working in us both to will and to do of Your good pleasure.”