When Arrows Get Lost Instead of Hitting the Mark: Christmas Awe part 3

After a very rainy day in on the British Colombia side of the Canadian Rockies, we decided to do something "dry". We headed back to Banff, where we were staying, and began to explore some of the tourist traps. For some unknown reason, these types of places seem to attract my family!

The first store was a big hit. My youngest son couldn't take his eyes off of the bow and arrow sets. He had been longing for years to find just this very thing at just this very price. But he faced a bit of a dilemma: should he buy the regular bow or the crossbow?

The regular bow won out that day, and when we finally returned to camp to try it out, he was the proud possessor of a wooden bow and four plastic-tipped arrows. As soon as we parked the car, he began his target practice, and the arrows flew in every direction. He didn't hit anyone, fortunately, but the wildlife in the campsite quickly disappeared!

As I watched him through the window of the tent trailer, I couldn't help but notice that his arrows often didn't reach their intended mark. I became a bit obsessed with knowing why they usually fell short, and soon I found myself outside trying his bow. I tried several different angles, even hitting my toe once-this was a mistake, of course!-and what I learned was that I needed to aim my bow much higher than the specified target. This allowed the arrow to arch upwards, and then as it came back down, to (hopefully!) Hit its mark.

As I later pondered this idea, it occurred to me that as a Christian, I also need to aim high. In my endeavors to follow Jesus, I so often aim too low. In fact, all my heart breaking experiences can always be traced back to aiming too low and to not depending on the One Who can help me aim high. How slow I am to learn! Only when aiming high, by keeping my eyes fixed upon Jesus, can I be victorious!

Jesus visit 2000 years ago was to teach us this. "Take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV); "Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Col 2:15 NIV); and "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Matt 28:18 NIV)

The devil and his minions have been defeated by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Our enemy is a defeated foe! The only way he can have us in his power is through deception, and it is only if we let him deceive us that he can control us. And believe me, he has not an inkling of good intentions on our behalf!

Victory is only ours by aiming high and concentrating on Jesus. "Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." (1 John 5:4-5 NIV); "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Heb 12:2-3 NIV)

Too many believers lead a life of defeat. They don't realize the power that they have at their disposal if they only trust in the One who can give them victory: "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." (Eph 1:18-21 NIV).

This is the Christmas message Jesus wants us to remember. There is hope for those in despair. Victory is at our reach. How high are we aiming?

Rob Chaffart

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