A few days ago, my daughter phoned at work to share that the smoke detector was beeping in my bedroom. She shared that she hit a button, reset it, and the noise stopped. However, when I arrived home, I forgot about it. Soon after I began to get my evening relax on, the noise started again. I attempted to reach the alarm to replace the batteries, but I wasn’t tall enough, not even on a step stool. I opted to secure the rod that we use to access the attic stairs, and reset the alarm as well. I forgot to mention the situation to the tallest person in the home. So, inevitably, the next night, or should I say morning, about 1:30am, the beeping started again. I promise it is so much more annoying waking me out of sleep. The tall one secured a ladder, opened the detector, replaced the batteries, and we all returned to our slumber. But before I closed my eyes, I thought, what else in life might we ignore until it becomes a disruption?
One of my elementary teachers use to say, “If you ignore it, it will stop.” That advice may have been applicable to the boy sitting next to me in class pulling my hair, but that advice doesn’t necessarily apply to life’s occurrences as we age and encounter more “braid pullers.” We must get to the heart of the matter, and that is not easily done. Life requires daily maintenance. Although I didn’t hear the beeping before in this situation, a manual was provided when we moved into the house with recommendations of how often to both test the detector and replace the batteries. Similarly, the Word of God is intended for daily use. Within the volume provides instruction for every area of our lives. Establishing its incorporation in our daily regimen will both keep us from harm and provide wisdom for enduring hardness. God often provides some type of warning along the way, even though we may fail to heed appropriately. My daughter called me at work to let me know what was happening. It would have been smart of me to make a plan for addressing it. Instead, I thanked her, and went back to whatever I was working on. Had I followed the steps I normally take when I need to remind myself, I would have grabbed a post-it note, or placed a reminder in my phone, to address the situation. Instead, I allowed the information to enter and exit my mind within seconds. The bottom line is something simple could have manifested into larger consequences. Smoke detectors have a purpose. When not nurtured, like us, they fall short of successfully completing their assignment.
In II Chronicles, chapter 27, we learn of Jotham, who was king. Of course there are countless kings in the Bible, but this one was pretty unique as he was 25 years old when he assumed the throne. The chapter is brief, but it unfolds nine short verses detailing Jotham completing his assignment. Specifically, verse six reads, “So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God.” His strength was a direct correlation with his preparation. Essentially the endurance we need to navigate rests within our ability to assume responsibility and ownership for being in constant ready mode to abate calamity.
Our smaller trials are preparation for our larger ones. You can best believe at every step God provides just what we need for what we are facing. Unlike the smoke detector, there are no steps or assistance needed from someone else to reach God. He remains accessible and at our reach always. What is sounding inside of you? What must you attend? While alarms typically indicate a problem, we may elect instead to consider them as opportunities to become mighty.