Disclaimer: this post is not about bow hunting (although girls like guys with bowhunting skills - hehehe) but rather about trusting in God and using the means he has given us. The bow analogy will come later...
Two Sundays ago I planned to go to church but a nasty and, thankfully quick, stomach bug kept me at home. While I was sick, I was also going through some major discouragement. I had wanted to go to church because the corporate times of worship and preaching of the word became a means of strength and encouragement and something to look forward to in my week. Because I ended up not going to church, I was discouraged and falling into anxiety for the week ahead. As I was feeling better, I thought, I need to read, I need to fill my mind with truth. So as I went over to my bookcase, the orange and yellow cover of Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges caught my eye. I grabbed it, remembering from a long time ago when I read it that it was a good book. Let's just say I am thankful to the Holy Spirit that He led me to the book.
Before I continue, if you have not read this book, I encourage you to get it. I think everyone should read this book.
Now back to the story. So for the time that I would have spent in church listening to the pastor preach, I sat and read from the gifted teachings of Jerry Bridges. And it was like balm to my wounded soul. Throughout the pages, I was reminded of God's sovereignty, his wisdom and his love for me. I was freshly reminded of his sovereignty over others and their impact on my life. I was taken back to precious Scripture of God's characteristics of his sovereignty, his wisdom and love. During the couple hours of reading this book, I re-starred, re-underlined and re-read many of the paragraphs in the book. I also cried out to God for mercy and repented of unbelief again of his goodness and love towards me. I also copied down Scripture mentioned in the book on note cards that served as weapons of faith for the week ahead.
At the end of reading 3/4 of the book, I was refreshed and very thankful to God for the time of reading the book and delving into Scripture. I was reminded of one of the reasons I love the book as large amounts of Scripture are quoted in the book. I love books that point you to Scripture.
So now to the bow analogy. One of the last chapters I read was titled "Choosing to Trust in God" and in it Bridges discusses pitfalls to trusting. Bridges discusses that many times we trust in the means God has provided rather than in Himself. We trust in money, spouse, education, moral uprightness, wisdom, friends and the list could go on and on. Bridges quotes Proverbs 18:10-11 as an example of trusting in God and trusting in means. It says,
The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
they imagine it an unscalable wall. (emphasis mine)
Bridges comments on this passage, "Those who trust in God are safe; while those who trust in their wealth, only imagine they are safe." (page 202)
I was intrigued by Bridges thoughts and very surprised at the how it clearly says this in Scripture. So I kept reading to see what else Bridges said and I'm glad I did.
"All of us tend to have our fortified cities. . . Anything other than God Himself that we tend to trust in becomes our 'fortified city' with its imagined unscalable walls. This does not mean we are to disregard the usual means of supply God has provided. It means we must not trust in them. Earlier we saw that the psalmist said, 'I do not trust in my bow' (Psalm 44:6) but he did not say, 'I have thrown it away.' To put the use of ordinary means and a trust in God into proper perspective is to look in trust to God to use the means He has provided." (emphasis mine)
I've been thinking alot about that last sentence. Sometimes I don't think God has provided enough means (money, skills, time, strength, etc) for the things He's asked me to do or the situations He has lovingly placed me in. Plus, I also look at some of the "means" around me and think, how is God going to provide and fulfill his promises through this? But as it says in His Word, 2 Peter1:3, "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness." (emphasis mine) And I'm reminded in God's word when he says "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Thank you Lord for meeting me and reminding me of your precious truths. Thank you for your mercy to remind me of your truths even when I am very forgetful of them. Thank you Lord for clarifying truths to me. Help me to trust in you Lord and trust that you are using the means and the right means in my life for my good and your glory. How precious to me are your thoughts O Lord! Your precepts Lord, are right, and my heart rejoices in them (Psalm 19:8). Amen.