Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Becoming MacGyver Christians

Suggested Reading: Luke 4:1-13

One of my favorite television shows when I was growing up was the original MacGyver. If you aren't familiar with the show, it centered around a man known as MacGyver who was continuously sent on covert and sensitive missions and used common, every day items to create what he needed or to solve problems. Once he used chocolate bars to seal up an acid spill and another time he used a paper clip and a stick of bubble gum to disarm a nuclear weapon. MacGyver never had to worry about the supplies he didn't have. Whatever MacGyver had was enough to save the day. And he had a pretty catchy opening theme song too.

Christians have a lot to learn from MacGyver about how to look at what we have versus worrying about what we don't have. As Satan was tempting a very hungry Jesus , he suggested that Jesus should turn a nearby stone into bread in order to deal with his hunger and thus prove that he was the Son of God. The temptation was multi-faceted and a masterful stroke, not only did he attempt to goad Jesus' ego by saying, "If you are the Son of God…" but he played on Jesus' hunger and tried to focus Jesus on the fact that he had no food. Jesus' response to Satan was "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone'"(Luke 4:3-4, NIV).  Rather than allowing himself to focus on his lack of bread and be drawn in, Jesus reminded both himself and Satan that he had other things at his disposal that could sustain him, referencing Deuteronomy 8:3 which tells us that we can also survive on "every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."

So my question to you today is: what do you have? So often we focus on the things we don't have. We don't have enough money. We don't have enough time. We don't have enough help. We don't have enough experience. We don't have enough space. We don't have enough opportunities. It is very easy to focus on the things we don't have. But as people who claim to trust in a sovereign God who provides for all of our needs, we spend a lot of time focusing on what we don't have rather than, like MacGyver,  looking around at what we do have and finding that we have exactly what we need.

Sometimes, our focus on what we don't have is a result of simply being narrow-minded - we are so convinced that only this thing will meet the need that we don't even consider other options. But ultimately, focusing on what we don't have demonstrates a lack of trust in God. If we really believe that God provides for all of our needs, our reaction to coming up short ought not to be to moan and groan about not having enough but to look around at what God has given us and believe that, whatever we have at our disposal, God has given us exactly what we need to deal with the situation while we place our trust in God.

If you keep thinking about what you don't have, find an old episode of MacGyver, get some inspiration, and then look around to see what God has given you. You never know when the little you have will be exactly what is needed for God to save the day.

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