O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help. Psalm 86:5 NLT

A few years ago my dad came to my house for a summer visit.  He is retired now but worked until he was 75.  He was a farmer.  However, he also did machinery repair, welding, and many other things–all part of farming.  He built at least three additions himself to the house I grew up in.  Dad also made all the cabinetry in the kitchen, beautiful storage spaces and pieces of furniture.  His handiwork surrounded me growing up, and very often I was a second set of hands on projects.  The smell of sawdust still brings back fond memories.

Like many men of his era, he is not truly happy unless he is working.  With this in mind, I saved a project just for his visit.  It would be fun to work together and I needed his help–my youngest daughters feared power tools at the time.  A new cabinet was needed in my kitchen.  Together we used the tablesaw, nailed, and hung shelves.

When I was Daddy’s little helper as a child, I would use a 0.25 lb claw hammer–essentially a toy hammer.  It took a lot of time to pound one nail with this, but it did not injure me as much when I slammed my thumb.  My aim was less than perfect!  Dad did most of the nailing back then.

Now in his eighties, he is graying and my aim has improved.  Using a standard 1 lb claw hammer, it was not long before I hit a nail wrong bending it over.  Impatiently, I started to pull it out and throw it away.  Dad quietly said, “Here,” while motioning for me to hand him the hammer.  Handing it to him I did not think he could fix my bent nail.  However, effortlessly and expertly he straightened the nail driving it into the wood with what seemed to be one smooth movement.  Once again he did it, just like many other times, he had straightened my bent nails when I was little.

In that moment I saw God, our Eternal Father, through my daddy.  When I bend the nails in my life and want to throw it all away because I have messed up again, He reaches in and quietly says, “Here.”  Gently He takes the tool from my hand and effortlessly straightens out the mess I have made like only He can.  He heals me and helps whatever I have caused to work out for my good and His glory in the end.

Eternal Father, thank You for always being there to straighten the bent nails in my life.  Help me see when I need You instead of continuing to try to fix the mess myself.  It is so much easier when I let You help me.