When Reality Bites: Wood & Iron

You’re standing at the bank of a river. Your eyes are watching your heart being swept five miles downstream out-of-reach —

So fast —

Your own breath catches you by the throat and threatens to kill itself —

There’s no undoing it now. You already lost it.

The icy clutches of reality set in: It puts its hands on your shoulders and slices in deep. And who are you to argue when the biting reality is that your feet are presently adhered to the ground beneath your feet — far, far away from your heart?

Your eyes can still see it from here. Your heart — there it is — bobbing, diving, ducking, crashing, so far ahead of time, while your chest still reverberates like an empty drum. You walk and talk and have every appearance of being whole… but on the inside, dry bones begin to rattle like sabers for their lifeblood, for their former will to endure.

But who can retrieve such a thing as a runaway heart on borrowed time?

“Where did you lose it?” HE asks.

“Here…” I reply. “And now it is there — so far gone!”

You look again downstream, but the color black now replaces what was once red. Your once supple heart is now solidifying into iron… Every strength and honor and fortitude once so passionate and new IN HIS IMAGE is falling downstream, is drowning…

HE smiles at you, but you can’t imagine why: Everything feels like disaster waiting.

HE fashions two pieces of wood into a cross and tosses it into the river where you first lost your heart.

“Watch,” HE says.

You watch but it’s hard to believe…

Iron, classically known as the Metal of Mars, has been universally perceived as the symbol of human strength, obstinacy, fortitude, honor, courage, sharpness (of body and mind), tenacity, and confidence in power.

Cabantchik ZI. In Search for Symbolic Qualities of Iron: The Metal of Life. Front Pharmacol. 2016 Aug 3;7:220. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2016.00220. PMID: 27536239; PMCID: PMC4971804.

You couldn’t do it. It was not within your power to do…

But the wood… tossed into the river… retrieved the ax head (2 Kings 6).

The Cross of Christ… calling you back… has retrieved your heart.

The two pieces of wood fashioned… thrown into the river by faith… accomplishes/renews what your human strength and power cannot.

One thing I have learned in life: Whether I am wrong or right about what I believe God is doing, will do, has done, or about who I am, will be, or presently appear to be — in all cases, if I submit my trust to Him, He is always working things out for my good and His glory.

I repeat this verse to myself a lot lately:

The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Psalm 138:8

There may come a day for the strength of hearts to fail and be lost… but today is not that day.

Shalom, friends.

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