The edge of the sword may have dulled with age and many battles, but do not discount the temper of such a blade, a Sword of Significance.
Her garden was planted in pain.
Rey was alone…very alone. She lived for the return of her parents, but they never came. The loss of both parents at such a young age, and thrown into a lonely existence of poverty and survival as a scavenger in a desert land. Faced with a cruel society that only served itself, dog eat dog, survival of the fittest. Somehow she had survived and grown strong, but she did not yet know just how strong she could become “if”… she began hearing the voice within.
Hers was a garden of pain still clinging to a faint hope of the return of her parents who were already dead, but she did not know. Her world was very small. Her knowledge very small, but she had gifts at work within her. Gifts she also had no knowledge of.
I don’t mean to sound negative here, but we live in a world of pain. Everyone has some kind of pain in their life. Even the rich man suffers. There is no perfect place on the cursed planet earth. And in this garden of pain, people either get stronger and wiser, or wilt away doing nothing of significance because they have given up, just trying to get by.
We pass people every day and ask, “How you doing?” But do we really expect them to tell us? Do we share our pain when asked?
But people do tell in ways they hope someone will see, but few ever do. We open up here and there. We drop hints. Sometimes it shows in our eyes and body language, if anyone is paying any attention. But we only pay attention if we really care. My Sword of Significance tells me to LOVE. It tells me to love God with all my heart, and love others as myself. Am I aware of each person’s pain that I interact with? None escape this garden of sorrow and struggle. It’s there if they let you see it. If you’re paying attention. If you really care.
The Samurai was called to a selfless life of protecting and serving others, even unto his own death. His sword and his soul were one. The Star War Jedi Knights are very much a future version of some kind of Samurai, only with a Sword of Light! But I have a Sword of Light. The one true Light. Do I use it to seek out the pain in others, and offer help?
Rey had the warrior spirit. It seems not everyone does. Many people choose to fold. They decide they need drugs, or alcohol, or porn, or whatever painkiller and joybringer they choose, whether God approves or not. But Rey grew stronger in her garden of pain. Some of us fold and some of us grow. Which are you?
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad — for these trials (fire) makes you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” (I Peter 4: 12-13)
Being plunged into fire is not always a bad thing, if you want to become strong and flexible. The Samurai Sword is both. The sharp edge is very sharp and strong, as it has been hardened in high carbon steel, and stretched to a degree of tension, hence the upward curve of the blade that if it were extended would create a large circle, a symbol of eternity.
However, the back of the blade has a certain amount of flexibility, so it will not break. The skilled swordsmith actually coats part of the blade with clay before plunging it into the fire, the holy hearth, for the heat treatments of tempering. This clay offers some protection from the heat, so the back of the blade maintains some flexibility while the edge becomes very hard.
Now realize the making of a great sword also involves God’s hammer. That raw hunk of steel has been hammered and hammered over and over again, to shape it into a square, and then pound it out, heated over and over, and then the steel is folded and cut over and over, and hammered more. All of this before it finally begins to be coated with clay, returned to the fire, and then plunged into cold water!
The cold water is how the edge is stretched and drawn tight in that upward curve, while the back retains flex, because the clay causing differences, somehow creates this effect of difference in contraction. But all this has been said to show the great skill, artistry, and beauty of it all, which results in a blade so sharp and true that it stands out in battle, even unto significance!
Don’t forget, this word “temperance” means self-control, discipline, focus, sharpness, strength, endurance… all of these things and more… developed within us if we have the warrior spirit… the desire to become a quality Christian… not just a cheap sword from Shiloh.
So… can we trust God in this process? Or do we get mad at God, blame him for the seeds we sow, decide we don’t believe in him? Do we fold? Do we crawl back to our comfort zone rather than fight our way to the beauty He is trying to bring about, whether in us or for others? And so God moves to someone else, a Sword of honor… silver and gold.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1: 2-4)
Yes, God does plunge us into fire for our perfecting. But bad things happen to both the good and the bad. The difference is, as a Christian, God is working towards our good, like a circle, and the circle is not complete until it reaches our good; whereas Satan is only working towards our destruction. If we choose to serve Satan, then our destination is complete destruction, not perfection.
The samurai for Christ realizes his blade must always form a circle. His path is without end, it is eternal. Until a trial works to my good, then it is not completed yet, and the “fight of no fight” – faith, continues on. Romans 8: 28 promises >
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Note: This powerful promise is very specific as to who it is directed to. “ONLY”… those who love God… and are the called… to His purposes. This is a samurai for Christ, as well as a faithful child of God, follower of the Way, and Christian.
I invite you to reserve your seat at the Willow Tree by hitting the “follow” button. This lets me know if anyone is listening, and wants to hear more. And I want to thank you for choosing to spend your precious time here with me, under the Willow Tree. This series continues. Now go and GROW.