One of my most prized possessions is a sword replica that I have hanging on my bedroom wall. If you get to know me at all, you’ll find out pretty quick that I have a thing for medieval weapons, especially swords (hey, what do you expect from a fantasy writer?).
When I first got it, I remember having a lot of trouble getting it out of the box, and at the time I joked that the box was designed to deter all but those worthy of wielding the sword. Needless to say, I persisted until I finally got the sword out, and ever since I’ve enjoyed pretending that it was a weapon I had to be worthy of.
This took on a bit of spiritual significance for me, too, because I tend to shy away from things that make me uncomfortable or nervous. I imagined facing the battles of life and having to have the strength to grasp the sword (a figurative sword now, although goodness knows there are times I wish I had my literal one with me) to face whatever is to come. My decorative sword became a symbol of bravery for me.
That’s all well and good. But one night recently I was feeling pretty broken and weary. I took my sword down from its wall mount and laid it on my mattress as I knelt by my bed to pray. “I’m not worthy of it,” I told God. “I don’t have the strength for this fight. The sword is too heavy for me to wield.”
In that moment I realized: the sword was never mine to wield. Yes, by the grace of God, I have to be brave enough to step up to the battles when they come. But the One who wins the victory, who does the fighting, who wields the sword, is God. If I do it, I will surely lose every time, like a child trying to swing her father’s sword against an enemy and not even being able to lift it. But if I hand the sword over to God and let Him fight for me, victory is always the result, even if it doesn’t look the way I expect.
I’ve always loved this little section from Exodus where Moses admonishes the Israelites to trust in God: “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still'” (Exodus 14:13-14, NIV).
Surrender the sword to God. And then be amazed when you see what He can do. I can’t wait to see the results in my own life. Don’t you feel free without that heavy sword weighing you down?