I would imagine that like most people I grew up being surrounded by many different things and people in my life. From the time that I was born leading up to this very moment I just like many of us have been shaped and defined by a cross section of influences.
To a large extend all of us have been influenced by one of the most important variables in life. In my opinion that would be by the process of reading. I can recall during my youth reading a variety of different things. Some were of course actual and real; and others were fictional.
One area of reading that I always found fascinating was Greek mythology. It seemed that there were endless stories with Greek mythology. There were and are a multitude of different characters and stories that always seemed to be steeped in mystery.
One particular story that I remember is the story of Achilles. As the story goes Achilles was dipped in the river Styx to make him safe and invulnerable. Every part of his body that was dipped into the river was then protected. Nothing would be able to hurt him.
In reading the story I thought to myself that would be really great to possess. A shield that would protect Achilles and thus nothing would be able to hurt him. Achilles would be able to withstand anything that came at him. Nothing or nobody would be a threat to him. But in reality Achilles was not 100 percent protected. He was not totally invulnerable.
There was a portion of his body that was unprotected. A portion that I imagine seemed to be insignificant. A portion that would be to some an afterthought. That portion of his body was of course his heel. As the story concludes Achilles was eventually shot with an arrow that hit him in the very spot that was not protected. An arrow shot that resulted in his death.
Achilles heel. From Greek mythology what has come forth is a metaphor for an area of weakness. An area that in the case of Achilles resulted in him being attacked in that very area. Each of us I would suggest should take heed to this story. Achilles’ story and his eventual down fall I am convinced is a story of a cautionary tale.
As we are travelling along this road of life we will be subject to many different things that will be a part of our journey. There will be the good as well as the bad. It is if the truth were to be told very easy to assume that no matter what we come up against that we may fall into the trap of thinking that we are invulnerable to the challenges that life will present us. For some, a sense or belief in their invulnerability may be in a job or career. Some will say that there is nothing that can touch or impact them. For others, they perhaps will say that due to the money they possess or the riches that they own, their invulnerability will shield and protect them from any and everything.
But if there is one thing that I have come to know, and in fact I would pray has also been revealed to others as well, it is in the truth that for all that we may think that we are, no matter who we are or what we are, each of us has that area of weakness that we are dealing with. Each of us has our own Achilles heal.
We as Christians are called to be set apart. The process of being set apart is layered. One important aspect of our Christian life is to be real with ourselves. To in many respects look in a mirror and not see what it is we think we see, but to look into a mirror and see who and what we really are.
This Christian road it has been promised will not be one that is going to be easy. Contrary to the popular belief in our society, being a Christian is not going to be peaches and cream daily. Nor is this Christian life going to be filled with sunshine and good times all the time.
Yes each of us, no matter who we are as Christians are going to have challenges and struggles. And yes let’s just be 100% percent honest; each of us yes we as Christians have our own Achilles heal. As Christians we are not exempt from the influences and pressures of this world that we live in.
Truth be told, we are going to more often than not be a target from the one whom as the bible teaches us, roams the earth looking to see who he can devour. The great enemy that we are in battle with, Satan is on his job daily. Not just a few times a day, but in fact 24 hours a day, each and every minute of a day. He is never at rest and always looking to target each and every Achilles heel that we may be dealing with.
To this end one of his greatest tricks is to lure us into believing that we are capable of dealing with him one on one as it regards our own Achilles heal. These times that we are living in are such that it is the rule rather than the exception that people buy into the lie that they within themselves are more than able to protect themselves from the wiles of the devil.
People are seduced into thinking that they are successful in and of themselves in facing the enemy. But as Christians we know that foolish is the person whose trust and confidence is in self. For surely as each day begins with the rising of the sun, those whose foundation is entrusted to self will without failure wind up experiencing sorrows and disappointments.
As Christians as well it is paramount that we acknowledge our own Achilles heel. As well we must also be of a sober mind that yes, we have weaknesses just like everyone else. But we are also called to be alert to the reality that Satan will do all that he can do to lure us into a false belief that the issues, challenges and or Achilles heel that we are working through make us unworthy. His approach more often than not will be to have us to think that not only are we unworthy but that we are undeserving of God’s love.
It is a mind game as old as time itself; to divide and conquer. There will be times of crisis and doubt for for all of us. And yes there will be moments when perhaps we will be tempted to believe that maybe, just maybe that our Achilles heel in essence defines who or what I am.
But when those moments do, and they will come to pass, we are called that though we may be weak, God is strong. We are called to be remain steadfast in knowing that God’s grace is sufficient for us, and his power is made perfect in our weakness. Yes we are flawed, each and every one of us. And yes we are on a daily basis in a battle with the inner person, our flesh whose nature is flawed and thus afflicted via those Achilles heels.
But each and every day what stands before us is the opportunity to turn to the Lord himself. To confess our faults and to admit our shortcomings. To do so because even though we all are guilty of falling short of what we should be, we are precious in God’s sight and his grace and mercy is such that nothing that we do, nothing that we are dealing with, nor any of those Achilles heels that we may have can separate us from God’s love, or God’s extension of his love by the blessed presence of his son Jesus Christ in our lives.
Achilles heel. Areas of weaknesses. They will continue to be a part of our lives as Christians. But we can declare that whatever Achilles heel we may have, it will never define us, and it will never cause us to doubt whose we are and who we belong to. We are children of the King, and ours is a Father who power is perfect, whose love is without blemish, and whose promise is be with us and there for us in all that we face and go through in this life as Christians.
To God Be The Glory
Alan T. Black