Read The Manual

Today’s devotional was written by my son, Clark Wrather, who is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. 

Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”‘ – Matthew 4:3-4.

Just a few weeks ago around Thanksgiving, my family traveled to Western Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. If you’ve never been there, imagine a place with very few trees and so flat that you can see for miles. It has a sort of rough beauty that is only spoiled by the constant blowing of the wind. It is always windy in Western Oklahoma.

On our way out there, we stopped to fill up with gas on the turnpike. It was the start of a holiday weekend and the place was full of people traveling and vehicles filling up. While the gas was flowing into my car, I went back and opened the driver’s side front door. This was a big mistake for some reason.

We’ve only had our mini-van a few months. When I opened the door, it set off the factory installed car alarm. I didn’t even know that it had factory installed car alarm, but I do now. The horn started honking with a shrill BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! It would BEEP every couple of seconds. In the interval between beeps, every light on the car would flash on and then off.

It was quite a spectacle. Imagine my surprise; I didn’t even know my van could do that. In just a few moments, my wonder turned into nervous alarm, when it hit me that not only did I not know about the car alarm, but I had no idea how to turn it off. Imagine lights flashing on and off and the shrill honking of a crazed mini-van. In the middle of it all, picture two frantic people desperately searching the pages of the owner’s manual to find out how in the world to shut it off. Libby eventually found what to do and we shut the awful thing off.

I had owned that van for a few months and hadn’t cared about reading the owner’s manual at all. Suddenly, I had a good reason to do so. I don’t know how many people have dusty Bibles at home that they never read. I do know that when your life gets turned upside down and you have a major crisis, that Bible is usually taken down, opened up and desperately read and searched for answers. You might try reading it before the crisis, so you’ll be prepared and know what to do. I wish I had read the owner’s manual for my van, before it went berserk.

(Before operating anything reading the manual is always a good policy.)

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