That “Aha” Moment: Toothpicks Vs. Nails

That "Aha" Moment: Toothpicks Vs. Nails

Once again, the women are curious! Reaching into a baggie, I pull out a toothpick. The women in the Bible Study wonder what story, illustration, or word picture I’m going to share today. I pass the baggie to Dottie sitting next to me, who passes it to Teresa who continues to pass it around the circle inviting each woman to take out two toothpicks. “How easy is it to break a toothpick?” I ask. ”Let’s all try it.” Snaps are heard throughout Faith’s living room where we gather weekly for our Neighborhood Bible Study. Everyone is feeling accomplished to have completed this simple task.

Next, I removed a box of nails from my Bible Study tote bag. I take one nail and pass the box around. I ask the women to hold their toothpick next to the nail. “How easy is it to break a toothpick now?” I ask. “Let’s all try it.” No snaps are heard, not one bent or cracked nail can be found. Instead of “telling” them the meaning of the word picture, I invite them by twos and threes to “discover” the truths in the following verses and make application to their own lives.

  • II Cor. 13:4: “ Although Christ died on the cross in weakness, He now lives by the mighty power of God. We too are weak, but we live in Him and have God’s power.”
  • II Corinthians 12:9-10, “ I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me….for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
  • Philippians 4:13, “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” TOOTHPICKS & NAILS 1

The chatter immediately begins and “aha” discoveries are made. So what do you think? How would you apply these verses and the toothpick and nail illustration to your life? What “toothpick” situations of weakness, lack or inability are you experiencing that invite you to cling to the “nail” strength, stability and power of Christ?


DebbieDebbie McGoldrick is the founder of NBS2GO and blessed to be married to Mark and the adoptive mother of Melissa and Matt. Debbie is an avid collector of heart rocks and shells, a lover of color (and chocolate sodas!), and always looking for a reason to go to the beach.


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