On forging a sword
Written Mar 18, 2014 11:02pm by Cindy Riker
Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua1:9
Webster defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” Interesting. Generally when we think of courage we initially think of some type of act of bravery, like running into a burning fire to save a life. But it also requires withstanding and perseverance. In a world where we quantify everything, how do we measure success? How does one measure with-standing? By the amount of time? The amount of pressure?
No one truly knows another’s capacity for the battles they face. We may see someone ‘standing’ and seem immobile, but it could be their last ounce of courage to do just that – to withstand. We cannot measure another by the capacity we might feel we possess. I don’t feel ‘courageous’ (as though courage were based on a feeling), but there have been days when it has taken perseverance and energy to make another trip to the doctor, to hear yet another siege of bad news in this health battle, and to consider its implications. It takes courage to face my feelings and my fears. And to stand in spite of it all. To stand whether others understand or not (or stand ‘under’ as support); to stand even when I’d like to run or hide. To stand when all I feel is at a standstill. Yet standing still is what it takes. But that doesn’t mean I ‘do nothing’. Among other things, I am beckoned to silently pray for others also in the waiting room (as well as the waiting room of life), for strength and courage for whatever they may be facing, whatever news they may be hearing (or fearing).
When a sword is being forged, it requires great time and patience by the Master Forger. He is not anxious or in a hurry, for it would not achieve His desired result to rush the process. He carefully chooses the particular metal, because different metals may require different methods. (I, of course, am an expert on this because I watched it on youtube). It is heated in a forge and hammered into shape. This is called ‘drawing out’ the sword and takes much time and patience. This process is repeated over and over – heating, cooling, hammering, sanding, polishing. This is required to temper the metal and keep the desired properties of strength and flexibility. Even then, if it is still brittle, it is reheated to soften it (1800 degrees!), grind it, pummel it, and cool it quickly to harden it. Even the pounding is not just for shaping and sharpening but for strengthening it. (http://EzineArticles.com/192067)
To the Master Forger it is an art and a craft, and He performs with excellence, using just the right amount of care and force. He uses steady blows, always with the purpose in mind, always with the picture of what He is producing. (Isaiah 54:16 “Behold, I have created the smith who blows on the fire of coals and who produces a weapon for its purpose…”) Why so much time and pressure? So that it can withstand. So that it achieves its purpose, something greatly useful that will persevere and withstand any force in the hand of the swordsmen. It must be reliable when it is called upon and ‘drawn up’ or brandished in battle. When He engraves His mark on it, He does so with pride.
So it takes ‘courage’ to undergo much of what we are all called to go through. But, knowing a secret helps us to withstand. Having done all, to stand sure.
I know Spring will win out and winter cold must yield to it. I can see it even in the midst of our winter storms, 18 inches at a time!
I know despite the clouds that hide the Sun, it is always shining, undaunted. It’s powerful rays will break through. Unseen does not mean un-present!
I know darkness will yield to light, and quickly scurry away, despite its apparent reign in the moment.
I know there is a time to “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”
I know the end of the story that we get to experience. We will not bend the knee to circumstances, doubt, or fear, no matter the pummeling. I know He will win the battle and will shout with mighty swords of victory – swords that are proven, swords that will with-stand.
Thank You for Your tender and powerful nature. Thank You that we need never fear – how can we, knowing YOU ARE WITH US, whether forging fire or raging flood! Thank You for others who also ‘stand-with’ us. As we stand in the time between the promise and the fulfillment. may we all remain ever faithful and persevering.
“We were meant to be courageous” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyc-M_Xv5TI&feature=player_embedded or http://youtu.be/Uyc-M_Xv5TI