Reading: Isaiah 26:1-4
The following essay was written by Bruce S. Wright and published in The Children’s Six Minutes in 1922. The book is in the public domain and may be read freely on the internet.
I have here a knife. It was given me by a friend, a token of his affection and esteem, when I went aboard the steamer in Manila, Philippine Islands, to return to the homeland. All these years since then the knife has been on my study desk, daily teaching me. What lessons does this knife teach?
First of all the knife tells me of Strength. The most important part of this knife is what I call the backbone. It is the main portion of the knife to which all the blades are fastened, as well as the polished pearl handle. This would be a weak and useless knife did it not have a backbone. It says to me every day “Be strong, stand up, have convictions, be steadfast.”
Lesson number two, Discipline. This knife has been subjected to many trials and tests. The steel of which these blades are made had to go through a hard, hot, trying process before they were tempered and fit to take an edge and hold it. Sometimes I rebel about certain processes of the days, then I think of my knife and learn from it the lesson of discipline….
The [last] lesson is Usefulness. Really it is quite wonderful the variety of uses to which this knife can be put. Here is a big blade, and a small blade; here is a blade with a file; folded in the back is a tiny pair of scissors. So the great test of life is its usefulness.
For Further Study:
- Isaiah 26:1 talks about a strong city that God has prepared for His people. God has prepared a great city for His people in Heaven. You can read more about this city in Hebrews 11:13-16 (first it talks about a country, then a city) and Revelation 21.
- Isaiah 26:3 talks about God keeping us in perfect peace because of our trust in Him. This is the same message found in Philippians 4:6-7. How can we find peace in God?
- Think about the qualities discussed in the story of the knife today: spiritual strength, discipline, and usefulness. How are you doing in these areas? Where can you improve?