“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them” (Psalm 127:4-5, NASB). Arrows are meant to be launched, shot into the bright open sky, aimed at a specific target. Like those arrows, our children stay in our quiver for a while, but the day eventually comes when they must shoot out into the world and make their mark, hitting a target and achieving a special purpose known only to God.
Many of my friends recently sent their children off to college for the first time. The social media were full of photos, advice, and reminiscing during this common rite of passage. Still other friends watched their young ones launch out to start a job or move to a new location. In the past few weeks, our family has been experiencing these sorts of transitions, as my son Patrick moved into the dorm to start his senior year in college and my daughter Emily moved away to begin graduate school.
I thought about those verses from Psalm 127 as my arrows launched. I watched them arc into the big blue sky, thrilled about the future God had for them, but still longing to hold onto them just a little while longer. Oh, the joys and struggles of being a parent!
As I thought about that Bible verse, I did a little research about arrows, and it was amazing to discover the picture God painted when He referred to our children as arrows.
Arrows have different appearances.
Feathers serve as the distinctive feature on most arrows. The feathers, or vanes, look different in size, color, and texture. In the same way, our children are distinctively different not only in their physical appearances, but also in their temperaments, abilities, and gifts. Each one of them is “fearfully and wonderfully made” by the divine Creator (Psalm 139:14, NASB), uniquely crafted by His hand (Eph. 2:10). Their unique construction is part of His plan.
Arrows have different flight patterns.
An arrow maker, or fletcher, carefully chooses the wood and feathers for his creation. At least 15 different types of wood were used in the earliest arrows. Lighter woods are used in long-range arrows, and heavier wood is utilized in short to mid-range arrows. In the same way, smaller feathers (vanes) are used for long-distance arrows, and larger ones are used for shorter distances. The Lord predetermines our flight pattern in life, where and when we will live and what we will do (Acts 17:26).
The feathers provide stability to the arrows, making them more aerodynamic, so they can fly straight to their intended target. Likewise, our children have different strengths that move them toward their destination.
Arrows have different purposes.
The head of each arrow accentuates that arrow’s purpose. Some arrowheads are constructed to pierce armor, while others are meant for hunting and providing food for the table. In the same way, the Lord forms each of our children to have a specific impact on the world. His plans and purposes for them are good, acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).
I delight in seeing the Lord’s handiwork in my children. I’m grateful to have had such diverse arrows in my quiver. Yet, the Lord is the Archer, and He chooses when and where to launch my children, swift and sure to their intended target. As He continues to propel them forward, I can smile and agree with Psalm 127: Yes, I am blessed!
Question: How have you seen the Lord’s handiwork in your children or others around you? Comment at the link below.
Susan Jane King