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As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man' so are children of the youth.

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.
(Ps. 127:4-5)
Now let me tell you a little story about arrows being used in Jewish warfare. We find the Israelites going into battle one day with their quivers full of arrows.

People always ask," How many are in a quiver?" Some say seven; some say twenty-four. I don't know how many there were, but you need to seek God about how many you want in your quiver!

In those days, soldiers didn't buy their arrows at Wal-Mart or Kmart or the sporting goods store. Those arrows didn't come two dozen to a box with all of them being the same length and the same size; they had to be individually cut from a tree.

Can you picture some guy shinning up a tree and cutting off branches to be used in making arrows? That's why no two arrows were ever the same!

Let's imagine what it was like one day when the Israelites were battling against one of their archenemies. An Israeli soldier was standing there, shooting his arrows at the enemy, when all of a sudden he saw this big ugly guy coming at him. The guy was holding one knife in each hand and another between his teeth.

Looking at his enemy, the Israelite said to himself, "He's coming after me! This isn't good!" So he reached into his quiver for an arrow. But he wasn't looking for just any arrow; he was looking for the biggest, fattest arrow he had ever cut.

When he found it, he pulled it from the quiver and set it in his bow. Then he drew it back, aimed it toward that big guy, shot it off and dropped him dead!

When that was done, he thought the battle was over. But then he looked out across the field and saw one fleeing enemy soldier with long, lanky legs. Looking down at his own short legs, he thought, "This will never work. If that guy gets away, he will tell the other ten thousand enemy soldiers where I am." He could feel panic rising up inside himself.

Then he thought, "I need another arrow," so again he reached back in his quiver. But this time he was looking for the longest, skinniest arrow that he had.

When he found it, he pulled it out, put it in his bow and shot it away. Sssssspptt! Boom! That arrow flew out about three hundred yards and dropped the enemy dead. Then the battle was over, and everybody was happy!

All the other soldiers went back to camp for some chow, while he stayed to pick up the spoils of was, but that didn't bother him a bit. As he worked, he sang praises to his Jehovah God about how good God was.

As the sun was going down behind the mountain, he had a load of loot packed on his back and was carrying more under his arms and in his pockets. Walking up the path, he saw movement at the top of a rock, and he knew he had a problem: an enemy soldier was hiding behind that rock!

In a flash he dropped all those spoils of war. At that moment it was as if there was no Jehovah God, as if his God had just moved off to some other planet. (That's how it can be sometimes when we are faced with a trail; we can just temporarily forget about God.)

Then panic struck, He thought, "What an I going to do? If I don't get out of here before the sun goes down, I'll be dog meat in the morning!"

So he reached back in his quiver to see if there were any arrows left. Thank arrow! Then he pulled it out. But when he saw it, his heart sank to his ankles. It was that good-for-nothing, won't amount-to-a-hill-of-beans kind of arrow.

Every time he had shot one of those arrows, it had hooked away from the target. The only reason he had kept it was because, if necessary, he could us it as a weapon to stab an enemy to death.

Realizing his predicament, he started crying out to God, "God, I'm going to die! Help!"

Then God said, "Put that arrow in the bow."

"But, God, it's no good. It's a bad arrow. It's never going to be good for anything!"

"I said for you to put the arrow in the bow!"

"Okay, God, I'll put it in the bow."

Then God said, "Now aim it away from the target, put it back and let it go."

So in obedience he shot it away, and that arrow hooked like a boomerang around the target. Sssssspptt! Boom! The enemy behind the rock dropped dead!

You see, our children are like those arrows. Every arrow is different. Each one will react and respond differently. But they all have a divine purpose. The same basic laws are used for all of them. But as a parent we have to be a little flexible.

Source: God Knows how to Raise Your Kids...Even if You Don't by Joe McGee
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Joe McGee
Web site: Joe McGee Ministries
Joe McGee, author, national conference speaker, father, and former school administrator, is the founder and director of Joe McGee Ministries, Inc. and Faith For Families Ministries.

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