|Photo Image Courtesy of Andreas Øverland with Creative Commons via Flickr|
Me: God, we should talk about this. A friend told me yesterday that you see our children as arrows. We are to consider ourselves blessed by our children like a warrior is blessed by a quiver full of arrows. Is that true?
Him: Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. (Psalm 127:3-5 NLT)
Me: That's so cool! My children are blessings from you; arrows in my quiver. I can totally picture that. I have four. I'm a little confused by their state as arrows, though, if I'm being completely honest. One is brittle, jaded and unwilling to be held. Another is wiggly - more like a noodle than an arrow. The other two are young, green and untrained. I'm scared and unsure of how to straighten, shape and shoot these "arrows." I don't even know if it's POSSIBLE to shoot a noodle-arrow.
Him: Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Hebrews 10:36 NLT)
Me: I feel like patient endurance is the answer to literally every question I have yet that is one of my biggest weaknesses. Patient endurance is what I need so that I will continue to do God's will... Hmm... actually, that sounds quite a bit like resiliency. So, that's a little bit less daunting. You are simply saying that I should continue doing your will for the long-haul, right? And then I will receive all you have promised. What have you promised?
Him: My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
Me: Your unchanging identity is a promise of strength where I am weak. You don't need me to be a master archer or a perfect arrow-shaper. So, what's the plan? What are we doing with these little guys?
Him: Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6) How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. (Psalm 119:9 NIV)
Me: I think I understand. With your perfect grace, I will TODAY teach my arrows to be your weapons of mass encouragement. I will TODAY help them hide your word in their hearts. I will NOW love them as you love me and teach them to forgive others as you have forgiven us. I will NOW give them many opportunities to serve widows and orphans. And, with your guidance, someday they will fly fast and sure to the targets you designed them to impact when and if you should choose that honor for them.My beautiful blessings are arrows; perfectly crafted for the exact target they are meant to hit. The arrow that seems the meekest may actually be divinely shaped for an immeasurably HUGE impact that no other shape could make.
One week after this God-conference, a friend of mine told me that my noodle-arrow was the reason her co-worker's Mother was invited to church recently. He boldly and lovingly welcomed her to come worship with him the next Sunday she was available. I remember feeling chills all over my body and it was almost as if the Holy Spirit within me was whispering "See... I told you so!"
Pray: Lord, you amaze me with your perfect design for us. You bless me with a quiver full of your perfect blessings, whose targets you are fully aware of. I humbly beg you to fill me with patient endurance so I may flood their hearts with YOU. Amen.
- Emily Krill, grown-up arrow