The first mention of missing the mark, as the term is used in Judges 20:16 – 16 Among all this people were seven hundred select men who were left-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair’s breadth and not miss. – This stone was probably used in a sling shot hence the word sling. At a hair’s breadth means that their target was very small and very thin, and they did not miss the mark.
There are other words for sin or missing the mark in the Bible but I am not going to go into them. Using a sling shot or a bow and arrow are practically the same thing. When I was in high school I took a course in Archery, and when I took the course, I failed miserably. Failure is also another word for sin. I would point the arrow toward the target and it would never end up right on course with precision. These skillfull people who used sling-shots were able to get it on target and right on the bulls eye. But for that they had to have good hand and eye coordination, a good stance and good follow through, and most importantly that had to have faith that they could, with God’s help hit the target much like David did.
In our Christian walk we are often at a place where we seem to struggle, and sometimes we feel like no one understands and sometimes we may feel like God doesn’t listen or hear. It is those times when we have injured our hands or for throwing the stone that we seem to be painfully aware of our injury and how when we once were able to hit the hair’s breadth, that now we may be falling off target. Maybe it’s not your hands, but maybe it’s your eyes. You can’t see things the way you used to and everything is blurred around you, and of course if you can’t see then everything else around you is going to get blurred and out of focus and you’ll miss your shot.
I remember one time I broke my left hand and it was fractured and it was hurt, and nobody likes to have a broken bone. A broken bone is no fun. When you’re older it is especially not any fun. It takes patience, treatment and rest to be able to recover, and sometimes we get so anxious we don’t want to rest. We want everything to be on target all the time and that can lead us to a very dangerous place thinking that we can make every shot every time. We must understand that everyone is in training to receive the prize, and we must endure through the difficult process.
There was a news story recently about a woman who went hiking and her leg came off for about four days she prayed to God (I don’t know if she was Christian or not) but Elohim (Our God the Creator) heard her prayer and her leg was miraculously attached to her in the hospital and she said “Once this is over I’m going to go hiking again”. What happened is that she kept her eyes on her dream.
We as Christians have dreams – to go to Heaven, and to meet Jesus and to be seated in Heavenly Places. We have dreams to preach the Gospel to a lost and dying world. So what happens when we miss the mark. Is it something that is going to take us away from our dream? Not if we truly regret what we have done and we turn to God. We shouldn’t feel condemned by what we’ve done and we shouldn’t be discouraged.
Hebrews 11 talks about all the heroes of faith and how they looked for a city whose builder and Maker is God.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies [t]in peace.
We may have walls in our life that are causing us to sin, and those walls need to be broken down so that God can come in and take over. Just because we miss the mark sometimes whatever the reason does it mean that God is not a good God or that God is not a God of love? God is definitely good and God is a God of love and He longs to restore our aching and broken hearts each time we fall down and stumble. He wants to help us where we are struggling, but we are so focused on missing the mark that we forget to see what is the real reason behind the faith. The real reason behind the faith is to see Jesus the King and Mighty Ruler as the Prince of Peace who lives and reigns in our hearts. We can’t see with our own eyes how many lives we have affected with our presence in them. We have no idea. Only God knows how many lives we have touched and how many broken hearts He has used us to touch and how many times people were in desperation and He used you to turn to them and provide them comfort.
Some people think that there is some big “purpose” or big “destiny” to you being born, and there is definitely a plan for your life which is for good and to give a future and a hope, but if we get so caught up in “finishing” or work or calling or purpose on earth,that if God forbid something happens before that time, then we still have purpose by the smile we put on someone’s face and kind words, and a friendly voice. So friends don’t get discouraged even if you are missing the mark sometimes because God knows how many lives you’ve touched and God sees what’s bigger and better than anything the world can see or even people closest to us can see. God knows that He has placed us as seeds of love and whenever we put our heart on the line at the risk of getting hurt in order to restore love to a lost and dying world, then God sees that and it puts a smile on His face. Don’t be discouraged dear friends. Even in the darkest moments of our lives, through all the tears, and sleepless nights, God is still by our side, and even though it may seem that darkness is all around us, we have a light on the inside of us that keeps on burning and shining and being bright.