Every father looks forward to the day he is finally able to take his son along on “the hunt”. Sometimes the excursion becomes more of a valuable lesson than a successful hunt.
One evening, when our oldest son, Cory, was around seven years old, he and my husband, Chuck, filled one thermos with hot chocolate, another with coffee and set out for the wild kingdom of northern Grant County. It was “Bow Season” in the state, which adds a completely different element to the hunting experience.
All good hunters quickly learn that stealth and stillness are crucial and Cory received extensive instruction in this discipline. Equipped with bow-hunting gear, he and my husband quietly made their way through the wooded terrain, dried autumn leaves crunching beneath their boots.
Suddenly, with a gentle tug on the back of his dad’s jacket, the still of the moment was broken as Cory whispered, “D-a-a-d.”
Chuck turned and motioned, “Quiet!” while continuing toward his usual hunting spot. Moments later, as my husband began his ascent into the tree stand, Cory firmly taps his dad on the back and whispered, “But D-a-a-a-d”.
Chuck gave him the “just a minute” signal as he helped Cory up into the stand. With the strong-willed hunters finally settled in place, Cory attempted one last time, whispering, “D-a-a-a-d!”
Chuck relented, “Cory, yes, what is it?”
Cory answered, “You forgot your arrows!”
There was a time when the bow and arrow were more than hunting gear; they were a necessity, a means of self-defense against the enemy. The good warrior was well trained for accuracy and made sure his quiver was well equipped with carefully sharpened arrows. A bow without arrows falls short of its intent. One is in need of the other.
Arrows in scripture hold various representations, but for this particular narrative, arrows represent spiritual truths. As such, as believers we can see the necessity for taking care not only to gather, but also to sharpen our arrows, whether we are speaking of spiritual warfare or simply the accurate application of the Truth in a particular situation.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man (or woman) of God my be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman (or warrior) who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
I have found myself (maybe you have too) in situations when I felt the Spirit urging me to minister a word or pray with someone, and panic raced through my body like a bolt of lightening. It is in those moments that we realize the importance of gathering truth through memorization of scripture. We can only recall what we have attained through study. We sharpen our skills through consistent use of what we have learned.
It is the responsibility of the Christian first to KNOW the truth of God’s Word, to gather it as precious arrows of a warrior and then to accurately and skillfully apply it in his or her life, or in the lives of others. Just as the arrow requires a strong bow and a skilled archer, the arrows of truth are dependent upon the bold faith of the adequately prepared Christian for an incisive aim, in season or out of season. (2 Tim. 4:2)
Holy God, like a warrior draws arrows from his quiver, may we be diligent to prepare ourselves by Your Word so that we are able to reach into our memory and pull out the proper words of truth, being ready at all times. We thank you for Your Word, Father. We are not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe. Halleluiah to the Lamb!