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Swiss Army Knife

Recently, my husband recently said to me, “you’re a Swiss army knife.” You might think that a rather odd thing to say, but it stuck with me because what he was lovingly identifying was that while I might have multiple talents, I can’t use them all at once. A Swiss army knife may well have a magnifying glass and scissors, but the reality is, you can’t use them both at the same time, and if you tried, neither tool would do its job effectively.

I don’t know about you but I have a tendency to try and do ‘all the things’ which leaves me ragged as I attempt to run in multiple lanes keeping up with the varying demands that life throws at me. I get overwhelmed at trying to figure out the next right thing to do and then employing the correct tool to achieve the task in front of me.

The thing is, God has equipped both you and me with multiple gifts. Numerous abilities to serve and care for others, all kinds of skills and talents to work and volunteer. Multiple ways of wearing multiple hats in multiple seasons.

But I’m learning the art of one thing at a time. Because stretching yourself across what feels like a million different responsibilities and tasks often leaves you feeling like none of those things are being done well or to the standard that you wish you could achieve.

Friends, we’re all Swiss army knives. Beautifully adorned with countless character traits, practical talents and gifts. But we can’t use all of them at once. We need to learn to slow down long enough to engage with Holy Spirit and ask which tool is to be engaged to fulfil the task in front of us.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 reads, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

God has equipped us with gifts, but more than that, He’s equipped us with the ultimate tool for knowing how and when to use those talents. The word for “equipped” here contains the idea of ‘furnishing or fitting completely’ due to ‘all the parts working together’. What I have been reminded of in this busy season of trying to use all my tools all at once, is that when I return to the Word of God, when I slow down long enough to receive the teaching and training I need, it’s then that I am “thoroughly equipped” to run with a divinely-gifted focus that enables me to stay in one lane at a time and achieve all the “good works” that the Father has prepared for me to do (Ephesians 2:10).

So, if like me, you’re running the risk of diving into overwhelm as you juggle ‘all the things’, may I encourage you to return to the Word? His Word thoroughly fits and furnishes us for full communion with our heavenly Father. And it’s from that place of intimacy that we will once again become “faithful stewards” of the gifts that we have been given (1 Peter 4:10).


  • Have I been trying to juggle too many things at once?

  • Is Holy Spirit inviting me to slow down in any areas?

  • What have I read in Scripture recently that points to where God might want me to invest my efforts first?

  • Are their gifts the Father has given me that I'm not using currently? If so, how could I intentionally make space to use those 'tools'?

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