This article by Sister Darlene Ignagni is the third in a four-part series on facing setbacks in your life.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
I recall a time when my high-school gym teacher set up game stations outdoors in an effort to expose our class to a variety of different sports. While there were many activities to choose from, my eyes were drawn to the red-and-white targets and whizzing arrows of archery.
Little did I know what awaited me.
Simultaneously, we were expected to: grip the bow firmly, place the back of the arrow at the nock point on the bow string, rest the arrow on the shelf, focus on the target through the sight window, pull back on the bow string, maintain balance, and RELEASE.
This proved to be an insurmountable task. How could something that appeared so seemingly simple and fun be so painful and challenging?
The strain and tension that I felt as my muscles pulled back on that bow string caused my arms to tremble uncontrollably. The ache I experienced in my muscles overrode any thoughts of focusing on the target and reaching my goal of a bullseye.
By the end of the class, I would’ve been satisfied to simply hit the bale of hay on which the target was fixed. The challenge of this endeavor caused me to lower my expectations—and to even give in to failure.
Spiritual setbacks can be much the same way. Painful. Discouraging.
The Bowstring Pulls Backward, but It’s the Only Way to Fly Forward
Such challenges can cause us to lose our focus on the goal we strive towards.
How many times have you read a scripture, sung a hymn, heard a testimony, or listened to a sermon that called you to a higher level of service? And that calling excited a desire in you to set a goal.
Good intentions are not the same as actions.
It is the process of implementation that is painful. When you’re using spiritual muscles that have long been dormant—or even never been used—it’s uncomfortable and difficult. Before you notice, possibly without a conscious choice, you’ve given up on that goal.
But reaching goals that are truly transformative in our walk with Christ are worthy of our efforts.
I must remind myself daily not to allow my momentary struggle to become a monumental obstacle.
Some days, I am more successful than others. However, I should envision a setback like the tension of a bow hair that is pulled back with tremendous effort.
Ultimately, when the bow is released, the discomfort subsides, and you have been propelled forward towards the mark that is your high calling; a laborer in the kingdom of the most high God.
Can You Relate? Are you experiencing a bowstring-tight setback right now? If so, how can you let the power of the pull transform you so that you can fly forward upon release?
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.