My Arms can Bend a Bow of Bronze

I wonder, if we could only see the darkest situations in our life from a different perspective, would we respond differently?

When we go through something hard, I feel like we think, So what? This is no different than other people’s suffering or we think Oh, this is just part of life. Both thoughts are true and realistic. However, it treats the situation as though it’s not a battle against darkness we cannot see.

The Bible tells us a spiritual battle is being fought constantly. I believe our darkest situations are like the Waterloos of this ultimate war we are in.

Seeing our dark circumstances in this way may seem counterintuitive, as we may feel scared and unprepared for such a fight.

At the same time, since we are facing how much we lack to fight the fight, we are forced to seek help; ultimately, help from God.

As it says in Psalms:

“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;

He causes me to stand on the heights.

He trains my hands for battle,

My arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You make your saving help my shield and your right hand sustains me.”

If you are in dark circumstances right now, KNOW you are in a huge battle. That is why it’s so painful and tiring. There will be casualties (friendships ended, your joy diminishing, money loss, etc.).

But, God will provide you with the aid you need. He will give you strength to fight with an ability you didn’t think you had. He will train you continuously to be capable of responding appropriately in these dark times.

He will “sustain you, shield you, and be your help.”

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Chivalry is not Dead

Dear Younger me,

Where have all the good men gone?

I’ve felt that way often. Chivalry is dead, right? No one is a gentleman anymore.

Oh, how wrong that is! Not only are there still good men, but you actually have the power to make a man good.

I am not suggesting that you manipulate a man or that you have some sort of control. And God is the only one who can make anyone truly good.

What I mean is, you can, with who you are, encourage a man towards goodness.

Be patient with the boys or men in your life. Just like you, they need time for God to shape them, to become better, kinder, maybe even more chivalrous. Don’t give up on them. Don’t rush it either. If you’re impatient and jump right into the water, you will, of course, wonder where have all the good men gone? You must wait for him to form, just as you continue to become a good woman.

Don’t forget your own conduct and attitude. Instead of immediately assuming or judging a man, encourage him towards goodness, just as you would any of your girlfriends.

Over time, I’ve seen many of my male friends who, at one point in time, may have seemed like they were not a part of the good men category, transform into those heroes we all look for.

Good things do come to those who wait, my dear.

Perfume

Something struck me in Des’s sermon on the unexpected guest.

He mentioned that the perfume the sinful woman used on Jesus’ feet was a tool of her trade (most likely in her prostitution). Yet, she was giving it to Jesus, asking Him to not only to redeem it, but to use it as an anointing.

This got me wondering, can we take the “tools” in our life, the moments when we have sinned, and give them to Jesus to redeem them, even anoint them?

Think about your lowest moment, when you strayed far away from God’s path for you. God, Jesus, has already redeemed that moment through His death on the cross. But, He can also anoint that moment, using it for good.

Oftentimes our lowest moments, God uses for His glory. When we struggle with purity for years and God uses that to help someone else struggling with purity later on in life. That is God taking our bad experiences and using them to help others draw closer to Him.

Just as the sinful woman is remembered for perfuming His feet, taking her sinful past and using it to glorify Him, we can hand over our bad experiences, our low moments to Jesus for Him to use for His glory.

 

Painting: Copyright Daniel F. Gerhartz. www.danielgerhartz.com