STEPHANIE WORKED FOR ME for five years. She’s a wonderfully talented young professional with a great future. When I left my job, I received a card from her with arrows on it. The personal note she wrote was meaningful, but the most impactful part of the card were the words about an arrow. Here’s what it said:
AN ARROW CAN ONLY BE SHOT BY PULLING IT BACKWARD.
WHEN LIFE IS DRAGGING YOU BACK WITH DIFFICULTIES, IT MEANS IT’S GOING TO LAUNCH YOU INTO SOMETHING GREAT.
SO JUST FOCUS AND KEEP AIMING.
The analogy of the arrow is like the development process in life. You get stress before success. In the role of a leader, I look for potential in those who work for me that many times they don’t see for themselves. Often they lack confidence. My job is to test, stretch, push, pull, affirm, and love them as part of their growth process. When I’m stretching them, I remain nearby as their “lifeline” to make certain they are okay, until they have the confidence to do it on their own. It’s the development process. If everything were easy, there would be no growth. Think about it. Who helped you grow because they cared enough to push and stretch you?
Our Heavenly Father does that for us too. He sees the potential that often we don’t see. He sees all that you and I can be in this world. How does he bring out the full potential in us? He allows stresses in our life to strengthen and prepare us for what’s next. I’ve found that to be true all my life. Some of the most difficult challenges I’ve experienced have helped me for facing other challenges.
You’re going through some serious stress right now. You are the arrow being pulled back and there is a great deal of tension in that process. You’re getting ready to be launched to something special. In which direction are you being aimed? I don’t know, but God does. Take Proverbs 3:5-6 to heart:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
There’s the recipe for success in this Scripture.
Don’t trust in yourself and what you know. It’s not enough. You can’t do this based on what you know no matter how good you are. We need to turn this problem over to God. Let him direct your path; he will open doors and select the right landing spot for you.
This week’s blog is an excerpt from How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them, By author Dale Kreienkamp.