It has been said that we become more ourselves, as we grow older. Superficial beauty fades, and a softer (or, in some cases, starker) beauty takes its place. This incorporates our scars, evidence of the life we have lived, with and without our consent.
We long, in youth, to be part of a larger whole – the beloved or a noble cause, perhaps. The paths we take determine greatly – and depend greatly on – whether or not that happens.
The heart calls us to venues and ventures we would never have thought ourselves capable of pursuing, let alone achieving. Sometimes though it seems we are being led. Not by our desires alone, but by some external force.
“…[H]e made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in His quiver” (Isa. 49: 2).
Most of us must deal with tragedy, along the way. Some lives are cut short by it. Grief and loss can arise from many causes in this imperfect world: abuse, racism, poverty, and violence, to name a few.
We are shaped by these experiences, and can be broken by them. Chances are, we will be forced to make difficult choices. Almost everyone is.
For a tree branch to be made into an arrow, it must be stripped of leaves (John 15: 2); fired, so as to become pliable (Isa. 48: 10, Rom. 5: 3 and 8: 28, James 1: 2-4, 1 Pet. 1: 6-7); straightened (Eph. 2: 21 and 4: 15-16, Heb. 10: 24-25); sanded (Heb. 12: 7-11); and oiled (Ps. 104: 15, Gal. 5: 22-23, Eph. 5: 18) .
Ultimately, the arrow finds its target. So, too, will our lives, in God’s hands, find their intended target…even if that target is not what we originally supposed.
We can rely on that.
 All credit for this information about arrow construction, and the biblical citations associated with it goes to Fountaingate Christian Foundation. See, ChurchLink, Bible Study Warehouse, Series: The Call – Lesson 7, “Preparation for Ministry”, http://www.churchlink.com.au/churchlink/bible_studies/call/call7.html. Copyright © 1981, 1996 Paul Bunty and David Collins. All rights reserved.
Originally posted 7/10/16
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12 responses to “Becoming Ourselves”
This is both beautiful and powerful Anna. Indeed,the events that help to shape our lives can be both painful and joyful. Both serve their ultimate purpose of refining us and shaping us into something we could not have imagined.
I thank God that He is always working on us, and though it may be uncomfortable at times, the finished product is all that matters.
Thank you, Ron. Like you, I have placed my trust in Him. I know w/ certainty I cannot manage to perfect myself.
As I was growing up mother would see weaknesses in me and said to just be myself. She was a ” mother “.
We all have weaknesses, whether they were painfully pointed out to us as children or not. “But may the God of all grace…after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter 5: 10). Our assurance is that God, Himself, will perfect us.
Anna, you are like Lady Justice- ever vigilante when defending the suppressed, the downtrodden. Blessings.
If only that were true, Lance. Blessings to you, too.
Anna, everything you do helps. Blessings.
A lot, in a few words and quote.
This is wonderful, Anna. Age and life’s hardships (abuse, health challenges…) humble us or harden us. I know some people who were abused in childhood and they are hard and cynical. Others, like my friend Anna, are humble and kind. The difference, of course, is allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. He is working through you.
Thank you for the encouragement, Bill. You, of all people, know what it is to endure suffering. But we have a choice in how we respond. ❤
I love the image of being shaped into an arrow that He will use to hit the mark – the purpose He had in mind when he created us. 🙂 Beautiful!
Thank you! 🙂