Short Bible Study

Wax On, Wax Off: God’s Mysterious Training Methods

Joshua Crawford

In the original Karate Kid film, Daniel takes lessons from seasoned karate expert, Mr. Miyagi.  Instead of beginning with karate moves, Daniel’s training begins as sanding the floor, painting the fence, and waxing the car.  After some time, Daniel grows tired of Mr. Miyagi’s incessant, “wax on, wax off” commands and simply cleaning the house, so he threatens to quit.  In that moment, the old instructor teaches him how to defend himself using the movements of sanding the floor, painting the fence, and waxing the car.  Daniel was stunned, realizing he was learning karate all along.  Is God using your current situation to teach you skills for later?

With Goliath standing in the distance, defying all of Israel, David the shepherd said to King Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father.  And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth.  And if he rose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him.  Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” (1 Samuel 17:34-36)  Ultimately, David’s skills against wild, untamed animals helped him defeat Goliath and become king of Israel.  Was there a time, when risking his life against wild beasts where David thought, “Why am I doing this hard shepherd work?”  Have you asked the same about the work you’re doing right now?

In Genesis chapters 37-50, we read about Joseph’s dreams of reigning over his family.  After being sold into Egyptian slavery by his own brothers and spending years in jail due to false accusations, perhaps Joseph wondered what direction his life was going in.  However, when Joseph is finally reunited with his family, he’s second in command only to Pharoah and able to save his family from a severe famine.  He explains, “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.  For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.  And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.  So it was not you who sent me here, but God.” (Genesis 45:5-8)  Have you considered that God is making your dreams come true and you’re just not aware of it yet?

Mr. Miyagi was so advanced at karate that he could train Daniel to defend himself without Daniel knowing it.  In the same way, God tells us in Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…”  Today, if anywhere in your life God is telling you to “wax on, wax off,” and you can’t see how it could possibly help your situation, soon He’ll show you just what all that waxing was for.   

1 comment on “Wax On, Wax Off: God’s Mysterious Training Methods

  1. Ted Floyd

    Thanks. A blessing . I get those “ quitting thoughts” , especially as I have reached some advanced age of nearly 78. But God has given me a voice to praise even in old age , so there’s no quitting — since it is His gift, not my own to do as I willy- nilly please.
    He makes “ nearly 78” be as “ merely 78.

    Blessings to you as he blesses you to bless others in the scripture.

    I’ve never met you, but know your goodly heritage of mother, grand parents , and great grandparents . No “ quit” in them .


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