The Bow and Arrow

A few summers ago, I bought the grandkids a little plastic bow and arrow set.  It was cute to  watched the little ones pull back the string on the bow and try to balance the arrow in their tiny hands.  In the learning process, there were lots of arrows that fell to the ground before one took flight.  

I probably should have led with this--the tips of the arrows had suction cups.  There were no children hurt in the making of this illustration.  

As I watched numerous grandchildren take a turn at archery, each one had to pull back the string to propel the arrow forward.  To the casual onlooker, the string of the bow being drawn backwards might look like a setback.  But the backward motion is what gives the arrow the ability to soar.  

Paul the apostle faced setbacks in his life.  Some may have though he was out of God's will or that he had made a mistake.  People may have thought that Paul wasn't hearing from God.  Paul certainly felt the tug of the bow string when he was in a damp, cold prison cell and when he was lowered in a basket and fled the city because men plotted to take his life.  Paul must have had questions when he pressed on through storms at sea where he experienced being shipwrecked.  He also had the setbacks of broken relationships in ministry.  All these may have looked like backward motion, but God was about to propel him into something better.  But first there was a setback.  

I like what Paul reminds us to do in Philippians 3:12-15.   “But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, let us, as many as are mature, have this mind.” 

Paul felt the tug of the bow string, but it wasn't defeat.  It was God
 preparing to release him into something great.

How about you?  Are you feeling a tug on the string of your bow?  Have you had a recent setback in your life?  Don't fear.  Get ready.  You are about to soar.


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