Monday, February 9, 2009

40 Days of cHesed—Day 25

Day 25 Transformed by Trouble

Since we’re using archery terms, have you ever tried to learn to use a bow and arrow? Perhaps you learned in PE at school or at camp when you were a kid. Maybe you pretended to be Robin Hood or William Tell. (There’s a whole new generation pretending to be Legolas, the elf prince from The Lord of the Rings.)

They sure make it look effortless, don’t they? Draw an arrow from the quiver and place it on the string so fast the motions are a blur—then let it fly. Perfect shot…easy!

That’s where the challenge begins. Take a closer look at their technique.

First of all, they never take their eyes off their target. They have drawn and placed so many arrows that it is an automatic reflex—they don’t even have to think about it.

Next, it takes a tremendous amount of strength to set the string on a bow, much less pull it back far enough to get any distance. Crossbows (like William Tell’s) are especially difficult to set—both hands are required!

If we were able to get this far, we’d have to be strong enough to hold the bow and arrow up and keep our arms steady enough to aim precisely—no wobbling.

OK—we’re hanging in there so far! It’s time to let that arrow fly! OUCH—that string just about scraped the hide off our forearm….

This is not so easy, after all! How can Robin and William and Legolas make it look so effortless? PRACTICE!

Thinking of giving up? Well you can be sure our three heroes didn’t. No one is born an expert archer. They appear only after years of training that transformed all these troubles into opportunities for target practice.

"When all kinds of trials crowd into your lives don't resent them as intruders but welcome them as friends. Realize that they come to test your faith and produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed and you become people of mature character, people of integrity, with no weak spots." James 1:2-4

Today’s Look at 1 John

Read 1 John 3:11-4:6. While you’re reading, look for evidence of overcoming troubles.

Keep Breathing!

Remember to turn to God as your first reaction to every situation – so he can help you respond with righteousness.

What trouble will he be able to use to transform you into the image of Jesus Christ today? Don’t be afraid to pedal hard—just keep watching and listening for God’s signals.

Say—check out those muscles! Looking good!

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