A Quiver Full (minus one)
Wasn’t going to post today but I saw that Bridget’s Blog Carnival theme was “children” (be sure to check out the other great posts there) and I started to muse. So, here it is raw and free flowing…Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. - Psalm 127:3
I have seven wonderful children, my quiver is full, packed you might say. 21 years of fatherhood has morphed me into a better human being and for that, I am thankful. At times that quiver seems so heavy, almost too much to bear. There have been times in my life when I wonder at the wisdom of God in making me the father of these children.
However, there continues to be many what I like to call “bull’s-eye” moments, one took place on this past Sunday. Soon my quiver will be one shy of full. Joshua, my oldest, is leaving for college in Indiana this Friday (August 27). Josh wants (actually, is called) to be a film maker and will continue his studies at Huntington University. His leaving signifies that his great adventure begins in full-throttled mode. But, I’m rambling now…
Josh and I went to the Hudson River to spend a few hours alone together, just to talk about future stuff and share hearts. I didn’t really have a “going away speech” about dos and don’ts…although I hinted at one. I really just wanted to be with my son. Josh and I are tight, friends even and I was looking forward to this time all week. I told him how proud I was of him and as I was talking I realized that I must ask him a tough question.
“Josh…is there anything I need to ask forgiveness for. Something that has hurt you or make you think I wasn’t for you?”
My question took him by surprise and he paused for a bit…then he said.
Dad, you are the most amazing man I know. I don’t need to forgive you; I need to be more like you. I wish I was half the man you are.”
I replied quickly (before I lost it)
“Josh, my desire is that you become twice the man I am…and with the Father’s help, I know you will.”
With that…I apostello-ed my son…
I released an arrow.
(4) “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.”
(5) “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” - KJV
(4) “Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth.”
(5) “Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.” - The Message Bible
When I read this I have this thought run trough my head over after over—arrows are not truly arrows unless they are shot—unless they are released. They can’t stay in the quiver.
The Hebrew word for mighty man is gibbor (ghip-pore) and means warrior. However, another meaning for gibbor is a word I love; it’s the word champion. A champion is one who is a defender or supporter of a cause or another person. That means you and me!
We are champion arrow releasers, empting our quivers and letting them fly! If there are any bow hunters reading this, you know what it means to string one up and letting it rip. You have to aim of course, adjusting for wind, distance and obstacles in the way, all to hit the intended target. We are champions for our children and we will release them someday, one-way or another. The deeper our relationship with God the more precise our aim will be. Let’s send out them with purpose, power and encouragement.
When the archer misses the mark, he turns and looks for the fault within himself. Failure to hit the bull's eye is never the fault of the target. To improve your aim -- improve yourself. - Gilbert Arland
Father help our aim to be true…Amen
Thank you for sharing your journey. It is helping me in so many ways! You are appreciated, Jay.
Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons
come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. Isaiah 60:4
Be blessed dude and thanks for the encouragement!
my passion to do this fathering thing right. Thanks bro' I appreciate it and you!
Blessings to all of you!
And I love that last thought--that to improve our aim, we need to improve ourselves.
I thank the Lord for what He's shown me in your words today, Jay. And I thank you.
This is wonderful good and so full of fatherly insight, both His and yours. These images of your arrows are awesome too.
Moms have a great job to love and guide their kids and I know it's hard to let go...thankfully, God is there!
I'm having a hard time letting the arrows fly. My youngest is headed out the door in the morning to kindergarten.
I needed to read this, Jay. Thank you, truly.