" I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies." Psalm 44:3-7
Generally we want to be the hero's of our own stories, masters of our calamities, saviors of all our situations. However, as best illustrated in a clip from The Princess Bride, it doesn't always work out in our favor. Despite Inigo Montoya being an expert swordsman, wielding his sword as a master, he could not stand under the pressure of Dread Pirate Roberts and alas was defeated.
This morning my attention was drawn to an image of a sword as I read a Friends Blog. I then opened my Bible - amused to find this imagery of swords continued as I read Psalm 44. Learning to recognize God's Spirit doing knitting of messages in my heart I paid attention. The bottom line was two phrases ...
I do not trust in my bow.
I do not count on my sword.
Not living in a combative culture in which most men were trained for battle, this looses some of it's "umph" in a modern world. When this was written, a bow and a sword were necessary offensive weapons meant for either long-range or hand-to-hand combat. Essential and effective, the bow and sword were common methods of defending not only oneself but also those around you.
What are my "bows" and "swords"? I attack most problems from a practical view point. My head hurts, I take an aspirin. My blender is broken, I buy a new one. My kid forgot her homework, I drop it off at school. My friend needs help, I enlist myself to come to her aid. My heart is broken, I buy chocolate ...
Most of my remedies help me feel better. But what happens when a BIG problem raises it's ugly head? I mean BIG ... job loss, health crisis, purpose unseen, vision lost. For most of us, we jump right into our default and rely on our "bows" and "swords" to come to the rescue. What can I do to alleviate pain? How can I assist and make this burden lighter? Who can I call to give me answers?
This is especially poignant for me right now in this season of my life. I feel brutally vulnerable. I feel trapped in a body that's puffy and quite frankly looking very old. Hormones shift as frequently as the minute hand on my old-fashioned wrist watch. Daily it's a battle. I want so desperately to find a "bow" or a "sword" to fix my problem. Where is a Dread Pirate Roberts when you need him?!
Just yesterday, I sat in my favorite chair in my room and cried - in front of my Chris - pouring out my heart. I WANT A BOW! I NEED A SWORD! And then, in the left-brained dominated world that my beloved operates from - he reminded me that I already have one. My bow and sword have always been in my hands. I've just been too tired to pick them up.
God loves me ... and my hormones. He desires victory for me. He's provided His Spirit living in me to accomplish way more than I think or imagine I can do. He's for me. He will trample foes. He will put my enemies under my feet. He will push back enemies. He will crush. He will drive out. He will command. He will breath new life. He will renew. He will take pleasure. He will. He.
Not me. In my own effort.
He will ... so I will ... obey. God is with those who obey Him according to Psalm 14:5. It's a promise. God is with me when I'm on the couch complaining. But when He asks me to trust Him by getting into some yoga pants and do a little exercise there is a SHAZAM factor because I'm operating in obedience. And in obedience there comes blessing. I can use my "bow" or "sword" if He tells me ... or I can lay it down and do something new, something I may not want to do but need to do and see victory because I've done it according to a master plan and not my own. Wow! There is power in laying down my "bow" and "sword" and taking up His!
Not gonna trust in a bow or sword ...