Arrows: Not Wet Saplings

You and I have both seen it. The tug of war, the passing of cruel messages through them, the perfectly mirrored reflection of scorn, the wielding of memories as scars. The weapons used: children. I see the little ones used to make a point, to push an agenda and they try to do their best, to make their parent or mentor proud.  They give it their all and have nothing left to mature emotionally or grow in their relationships. Everything is stained nothing is pure, emotions rule and as a result hurt is magnified many times. First the parent was hurt and bitter, and like a root, it planted in their life and grew branches, encircling the whole family.  

“Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20

The use of children as weapons is nothing new. “Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord…as arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children…Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them…they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5. God intended us to use our arrows.

I find it curious that God did not describe children as swords. Swords are used for close fighting, ruthlessly cutting both ways. The hand that holds a sword has total control of the direction of the swing and never lets it go. The sword is used multiple times without need for any repair. It is strong, durable and reusable. If our children were likened to swords they would be tough and immune to injury, totally controlled by their parents.

God also did not pick them to be sling shots. Sling shots use rocks as the projectile. They are easily loaded and used over and over again. There is nothing unique about the rocks used, they are smooth and even and plenteous. The rocks after they are shot, are not retrieved. If our children were likened to sling shots, they would be used over and over with little thought of gathering their feelings and efforts. Once spent, there would be more to dredge from the little ones to use.

No, God called them arrows.

Now an arrow is used mostly once or a few times. It is used for distance fighting, where the enemy is just approaching and well outside of hand to hand combat. An arrow is frail. I used to step on them occasionally to the ire of my dad. . They would snap easily. The shaft has to be perfectly straight. In making an arrow shaft it takes months of drying the young wet sapling branch, straightening it as it dries. The feathers have to be equally weighted from the wing feathers of a goose or turkey. They need to be all from the right or left wing of the bird or the arrow will have a crazy flight path. When the fletching is done, the arrows are usually painted or tipped with a distinctive marking to identify the arrow and the arrow maker.

The archer controls the placement of the arrow on the string and the angle of projection. However, once that arrow leaves the bow, it is subject to wind currents and how well it is balanced to reach the target.

Arrows are usually retrieved and repaired if necessary to be used again.

We need to treat our children like they are arrows, frail, but mighty, easily crushed and twisted by our treatment, but able to hit the mark when brought up properly. They are not ready to reach their target until they are mature and no longer wet saplings.

 Our children should be marked with our unique stamp. I hope my children have the stamps of compassion and love!!

The neat thing is, the parent influences the creation and maturing of the arrow, but God ultimately determines what winds blow and the strength of the shaft. And even though it is much easier for an arrow to reach its target with proper workmanship, God can change it all with His Breath, making a crooked arrow fly true. Wow!! I am a crooked arrow too!

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