IN GOD’S QUIVER
He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the
shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me into a polished arrow and concealed me
in His quiver. He said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom
I will display my splendor" (Isa 49:2-3).
When we are sharpened and polished
by God, we often want to show the world our skills and abilities, our charisma,
our knowledge, even our compassion. We want the world to know how God has
blessed us. It may sound like a good idea, except that we may end up basking in
our own glory instead of displaying God’s glory.
We know we are tools in God’s
hands. As such, what can we learn from the analogy of being an arrow in God’s
He made me into a polished arrow
Our function as an arrow is to hit
the target. What is our target? One primary target for Christians is to do
good, as “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works”
How do we reach this target? Doing
good is about meeting other people’s needs with our God-given resources. It is
getting to know them, seeing who they are beyond the surface. It is helping
those who are undeserving, those who may not be able to return the favor, those
we may not even really like. It is assisting them not only when we are able to,
but also when it could cause us some discomfort, loss, or even pain. It is not
only about dutifully offering material gifts, but also willingly giving our
time, prayer, love, and energy. It is about humbly following Christ’s example
to serve others.
Concealed me in His quiver
As an arrow belonging to God, we
should respect God’s methods and timing. This may sometimes mean that we need
to stay within the quiver. Often, we are eager to serve, to do good, to reach
the target. In our zeal, we may go as far as to “shoot” ourselves out of the
quiver. We keep missing the mark, and we cannot figure out why. We forget that
without God’s strength and guidance behind us, we cannot go far. In due time,
He will show us which way to go and protect us as we go along that path (Ps
32:8). Therefore, we must train ourselves to sit back and relax, and patiently
await God’s optimal time for our turn at the bow.
In whom I will display my splendor
When we finally soar through the
air and reach our mark, we must remember to glorify God. An arrow cannot claim
any success apart from the archer. As Christians, we need to let God receive
the credit for what He accomplishes through us. A key to manifesting God’s
glory is to do good in secret. This idea may seem counter-intuitive, since most
people usually practice evil in secret and do good in public. However, we know
that God sees everything, and rewards us accordingly (Mt 6:4, 6, 17). By acting
in this manner, we are testifying for God in both the material and the
spiritual worlds, developing our faith and Christian character, and building up
our heavenly treasure.
As God’s arrows, let us make the
best of our opportunities to do good, to wait patiently, and to glorify God.
Question(s) for Reflection:
Who or what are you targeting with
your arrow? Is this target pleasing to God?
When was the last time that you
chose to shoot out of the quiver? How did you feel afterwards?
Think of someone you may know
(either personally or through others) who does good deeds in secret. What is
one way that could you follow their example?