Image by Svetlana Klaise (Pixabay.com)
- a skilled fighting man, especially one belonging to earlier times
- any distinguished soldier or veteran
- someone notable for strength of spirit or indomitability
Chambers 21st Century Dictionary
I wonder what image came to mind when you read the title of this post.
Was it the bloodcurdling scream of a fearless combatant charging into battle, brandishing a sword or club?
Well, that is not the warrior’s cry I am speaking of here. I am not referring to the war cry of a superhero. No! I am speaking about the whimper of a wounded one. I am describing the desolate tears of an injured soldier on the battlefield of life.
Dear wounded warrior, be assured. God sees your tears and recognises your fears.
Did you know that he preserves your tears in a bottle? Fancy that! We preserve vegetables or fruit but God preserves our tears. How loving and precious is that?
Don’t believe me? Listen!
You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one [tear] in your book. (Psalms 56:8 Living Bible)
In fact, the Bible gives clear evidence of the lengths to which our Father God has gone, in order to show us how much he cares. Isaiah 49:16 tells us that we are inscribed upon the palms of his hands.
Have you ever felt as if your life has been ruined? Do you ever feel despondent about your future? If so, what is your response?
In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 we read about a woman whose distressing experience of childbirth prompted her to name her son Jabez. The literal interpretation of this name is: He will cause pain.
Can you imagine being saddled with a name like that? Particularly as in bible times, your name was a reflection of your person, a prophetic foretelling of your future. Every time someone called you, spoke to you or about you, they were affirming and confirming the meaning of your given name. They were re-affirming your destiny: “He will cause pain!”
Fortunately, Jabez decided he was not going to accept the cards that life had dealt him. He was not going to allow his life, his future to be determined by his mother’s response to a painful experience. He decided that his mother would not have the last word. This unlikely warrior decided to take charge of his fate and change the course of his destiny.
So Jabez enlisted the help of the only person who possessed the power and resources to alter the course of his life. He turned to God in prayer. He appealed to his Father in Heaven and made a specific request regarding how he wanted his life to be—and God granted him his desire.
Jabez could have chosen to wallow in self-pity and remain a victim of his circumstances. He could have lived a life of misery and defeat and felt justified about blaming his misfortune upon his mother.
Instead, he chose to turn his predicament into a prayer project. He chose to refocus his eyes and thoughts and fix them upon God. He chose to cry out in faith and believe God for a future filled with blessing, increase, favour and protection. He decided to superimpose his words and his desired future over his mother’s negative declaration.
And note, Jabez was not only concerned about his future, his own well-being. He cared about the well-being of those around him and asked God to preserve him from evil and keep him from causing pain to others.
Wounded warrior, God loves you. He has seen your trials. He has noted your tears. He is willing to act on your behalf. Will you rise up in faith? Will you refocus your thoughts? Will you refuse to accept the words the Enemy whispers into your heart? Will you take those hurtful words that were flung at you by family, friend or foe and instead of absorbing, or mulling over them, allow them to provoke you into calling upon your Father God and believe Him for the wonderful destiny he’s ordained for your life?
Dear warrior, I know you have the strength to rise up and win. I know God has empowered you with his Word and with his weapons of warfare.
So will you take a leaf from out of Jabez’s book? Will you direct your petition to God—not just for yourself but also on behalf of others?
I know you can—I pray you will!