I’ve been reading Psalm 18 lately. I love so much of what it says, but the fact that it starts in verse 1 with this: I love you, Lord;
You are my strength.
Well, we’ve definitely needed strength at our house lately. We have a 2.5 year old son. If you have ever had a 2.5 year old, chances are that I need not say more. And I won’t. Just that we’ve need some wisdom up in here as to how to discipline our child. Not according to another person’s method, but according to how God created our baby boy to think and relate and operate in the world. I realize that the things God put in him, and how his personality is today, are what will make him effective in this world for the Cross of Christ. And that is why we are here and that is why God gave him to us.
So, I’m praying and thinking about all this and asking Jesus for all kinds of peace and wisdom and patience for my husband and I as we face each day. On Sunday, when I got to church I flipped to Psalm 18 again, and these verses leapt off the page as they often do when the Holy Spirit highlights them for you.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
35 You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
36 You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.
HE TRAINS MY HANDS FOR BATTLE. (v. 34a)
That’s exactly what I’ve been feeling. We’re in a battle, not necessarily with our child (although there are moments) but we are in a battle with our own flesh, and the world, and the enemy of our souls, too. Godly parenting is not easy. And the Accuser would much rather we take the easy route and give-up & give-in because then we no longer receive the training we need for future battles.
HE STRENGTHENS MY ARM TO DRAW A BRONZE BOW. (v.34b)
When I think of a bow, automatically I start thinking about arrows. So, immediately, by the power of God my mind went to this scripture:
3 Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
4 Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
Bow and arrow. And this is what I heard the Lord tell me in my spirit…
We are all 3 in training. Training is never easy. My husband and I are being strengthened to draw a bronze bow, as we are training up our child in the way he should go. If we don’t go through the hard training, our arm will not be strong to pull this bow, last I checked bronze is quite stiff. But the whole entire point of pulling any kind of bow is the arrow being launched. And our boy is a gift from the Lord, he is His reward to us, he is like an arrow in our hands.
I don’t know about you, but we want an arrow coming out of our bow that is effective in life, we want our arrow to have a heart for the things of God, to love God’s Word, and to take up his cross and follow Jesus wherever He leads him. Our arrow is the most important thing that God has EVER entrusted to us!
And back to Psalm 18:35-36, God tells us the results of the training and the strengthening:
You have given me Your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
Your help has made me great.
You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.
What a good God we serve! A creative and thoughtful and wonderful and mighty and smart and Holy God! This is exactly the reassurance that I needed. I needed to know that The Lord is with us, even though I knew it in my head. Sometimes when our human mind is at such a loss for answers and in such desperate need for endurance and patience in a situation…we need the Holy Spirit to highlight something so unmistakably that we cannot miss it.
And He does that. And He uses many avenues, but His Word is paramount. If I had not been searching Him in the scriptures, I would not have received this and I would not feel the strength I do today to continue on in the training for the battle. Our God is promising us that if we will continue in the training, He will strengthen us to pull this bronze bow. It is not easy, it takes endurance and patience to gain the strength needed to launch this little precious and awesome arrow. God will give us victory, His right hand will support us, it is by His help that we can be great at what we are doing, and it is the path He makes for us that keeps us from slipping.
Lord, we want to be on Your path, not another’s! We want to be faithful to the assignment that You give us. We want to be great parents, and we can only be that if You are the One we are training under. You know our children, it is You who knitted them together, and we want to hear from You everyday, and especially on difficult days how to walk this parenting thing out. And we need discernment from on High as to picking which battle we will engage. I ask You, in Jesus Name, that every mom or dad reading this would be supernaturally filled with wisdom, patience, and endurance. We need You, Jesus! And, Lord, that the Peace of Christ would rule in our hearts, and the Peace of Christ rule in the hearts of our children.
This prayer of Paul’s in Colossians 1:11-12b comes to mind, I pray this for all of us:
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father.
I am filled with joy today. Not because my child is easy to handle today, in fact, he is still asleep right now. But because I know God is with us. I know that if we ask Him for anything according to His will, that He will give it to us. And I know that our God loves our little arrow more than we do. Bless you today as you walk this thing out…He is worthy & He is worth it, Love Y’all!