What's Your Survival Tool?

Last week, we received a curious incentive from a not-for-profit that we have given a donation to on occasion. Monique immediately brought this shirt pocket-sized tool to me to see if I could determine what it was and in what way it could be useful. I held the item in my hand and studied it without any success. I had never seen anything like it!

Handy Dandy Pocket Tools!

Since it came with a modest plastic sheath around it, I opened the protective covering to see if there was a clue inside. I found a very thin white card with a list of eleven items typed in red ink under the heading, “Multipurpose Pocket Survival Tool.”  Some of the uses for this singular tool included: can opener, knife edge, screwdriver, butterfly wrench, saw blade and a “Direction Ancillary Indicator!” I had to go to YouTube in order to decipher this feature. Because this “credit card-like tool” is magnetized, it can also function as a water compass! Why do we use such big words for something this simple?!

As I read down the list of uses, I thought, this is somewhat like my Swiss Army Knife. I have been carrying a smaller version (approximately two inches in length) of the classic pocket knife for years. I have filed my nails with one of the blades that has a screw driver at its end, removed food debris from my teeth with the plastic pick, used the scissors to cut tape and thread, picked up small items with the tweezers, and of course, opened packages with the knife. I wouldn’t be caught without this tool! Truth be told though, I was “separated” from my handy pocket tool on two occasions at the airport TSA point. Both times, per safety regulations, I had forgotten to stow them in my luggage. And yes, I whined, with tears in my eyes, as the agent confiscated them! 😢

What is your go-to survival tool for life? How do you cope when the challenges coming your way? In the final verse of Paul’s great “love chapter,” the Apostle suggests three realities that will last forever – faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). These enduring graces are like spiritual “tools” equipping believers to face disappointments, deal with relational conflicts, provide comfort during grief and loss, or address any number of stresses on this often bumpy road of life.  

The Amplified Bible provides some succinct commentary on this trilogy of support. “And now there remain faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.”

I don’t know about you, but every day I need the encouragement of an abiding faith, the confident expectation of an enduring hope, and the strength of God's love that never fails! Next time you go through a “rough patch,” remember that these graces are available in every Christian’s tool box – Faith, Hope and Love…  and the greatest is love!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 


  1. Same knife, same fear of confiscation.. But knowing that I can add/subtract a zillion, billion years to/from eternity and I still have my eternity With the Lord Jesus Christ and that re-enforces "it is what it is" and I receive the guaranteed Peace and JOY the Lord Jesus Christ guaranteed to all who understand John 5:24!

  2. An interesting connection here is how the three words, Faith, Hope and Love are known also as the "cardinal" or hinging virtues because they are so integral to life just as hinges support the weight of a heavy door. These virtues bear the weight of life's pressures, adversities and set-backs. Interesting how the various features of a Swiss Army knife hinge in and out of their protective case!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Rescue Story!

Sayings That Shape Us!

"You're Excused!"