“He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” 1 Samuel 22:35
My elbows are funky. Any mention of “bow” and “tendon” in the same sentence make me want to observe once again the odd angle at which my elbow determines is a straightened-out arm. Laughed out of cheer try-outs for a V that didn’t look at all like a V, I labeled my hyperextended elbows a weakness.
A bow is a symbol of strength, and back when today’s verse was written, it wasn’t uncommon for them to be made of wood, animal horns and tendons, and even metal. (Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary.) This verse is part of a song David wrote to commemorate military victories, and the middle section of the song …which this verse is pulled from, describes “moral grounds for God’s saving help.” (NIV Notes)
Life battles us for our passions and threatens to steal victories written for us to claim. When we start to mature in Christ, we begin to realize what we’re supposed to fight for.
My dad helped coached my basketball team in grade-school, but I never took a shot in a game. There wasn’t time for the fifteen-year-old dance dreams that couldn’t be funded. My best friend asked me to go to tennis team tryouts with her our freshman year, at which I threw my racket at the coach while trying to serve. Too reckless on skis to score technical points. The arts weren’t college prep enough to take up as much of my high school schedule as I wished them to. Being a dancer, I thought hurdles would come easy. They did not, and I tumbled over them the very first meet. My coach threw me in an 800M race that day…
“He trains my hands for battle…” Yes, He does. In His own way, with the way I am made, He trained me. Lots of life makes no sense, until it does.
I landed in the middle of my XC tribe at the meadows my junior year in high school. And for miles, and miles, and miles, and more miles than I ever realized I’d enjoy the pursuit of …everything started to step in stride.
“…my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” I believe we’re more capable than we can imagine. When we grip Jesus’ hand, we begin to see how. He called me to the track to teach me how to fight. Through all of the voices and circumstances in life that continue to say, ‘no,’ He continues to show me who I am.
Father, Praise You for crooked elbows and knobby knees. Thank You for imperfect parts and Your perfect love. Forgive us for wanting to be anything we weren’t built to accomplish, and bless us to be all You have purposed us to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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