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Stories of Lives Liberated

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Horseshoes is a game that evolved from Grecian discus throwing. The original game was played with iron plates or rings and became a favorite among soldiers. Lacking the money and materials for the proper throwing utensils, soldiers improvised with the bounty of discarded horseshoes. To which the game evolved to actually being played with horseshoes.

Grenade is a word believed to have derived from the French word “pomegranate” because the bulbous shape resembled the fruit. In the 15th century, grenades came into use and were effective against enemy troops in ditches of fortresses. Grenades have about a four-second time delay; usually long enough for the grenade to be thrown accurately, but too brief a time for the enemy to pick it up and throw it back.

What do the two have in common? One thing: Proximity. If a grenade is thrown ‘close enough’ to its target, it will mess stuff up! If a horseshoe is thrown at its target, a metal stake in the ground, and even if it is within one horseshoe of the stake, it still counts. In both instances, the grenade and the horseshoe merely have to be “close enough” for it to count. Hence the expression, “It only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”

In most other sports, close enough does not count. If Adrian Peterson catches the football at the 5-yard line and is close to the end zone but not all the way there, it is not a touchdown. Trying to argue with a referee on that one would be amusing but pointless. “But ref, he was close! Open your eyes! Get the points up!”

It’s amazing how in our own lives “close enough” does not cut it. Being pulled over for nearly going the speed limit but still speeding doesn’t cut it. Being nearly on time for a plane, a train or a bus is close but won’t cut it and sometimes being close to remembering your anniversary will land you in the dog house.

Close enough is good but not going to cut it. At times we feel close to God; other times, we feel far or distant in our walk with Him. It happens to everyone: we feel close; we feel far. There are probably many instances you could recall feeling far from Him. Perhaps it was puzzling to you, the distance you felt. Perhaps you found yourself thinking, “I’m going to church. I’m reading my Bible. I’m reading it every day! I’m behaving myself. I’m not outright/outwardly sinning.” Yet, still there was something missing, as if being good was close, but not good enough or being close wasn’t nearly close enough, and you were still left feeling far off.

And nearly everyone has succumbed to the thought: “If only I was better… if only I was more…if only I did more… if only I was like him, then…” Close enough isn’t close enough when your heart is heavy and emotions are out of whack.

So, all of this is true; at the same time, all of this is a lie. It’s close, but it is not close enough to be all true, and 90% truth with 10% lie is still a lie. The truth is, the reality is, we have all ‘felt’ far from God. If you want the 100% Truth without the 10% lie: We are always, 100% of the time, close to God. That never changes. We could not change that Truth if we wanted to, for once we are filled with His presence and His spirit, there is no place we can go to escape it. We cannot run from Him. We cannot hide from Him. We cannot leave Him or lose Him. Even our sin—the guilty convictions of a downcast spirit and heavy-laden heart—cannot separate us from His love.

Before you were, He was. Before you committed sin, before you turned to Him, before you were ever making a difference in His kingdom and before you were even born, He was. Knowing proximity to God, we have to understand His character. God is omnipresent, a big word meaning He is everywhere at all times. So while we may feel far from God at times, it is a lie. Our sin causes us to ‘feel’ far from Him. This is a work of Satan, “For God demonstrated His love in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us on a cross” (Romans 5:8).

Satan desperately and passionately desires you to feel far from God. The farther he can make you feel separated from Him, the more power he has over you. Let us be liberated from belief in our 10% lie. By the grace of God and the blood of Christ, we have been eternally set free from the lie of feeling ‘far from God;’ even a parent, furious with his child, desires closeness with him. How much more your Heavenly Father? God could not love you any more or any less. He loved you before the creation of the world. He saw you at your best and loved you at your worst. You can do nothing to push God away or turn God off. He is always near, in and all around your heart. Be liberated from feeling far from your KING.


Words are not just a passion, it’s a way of life; like eating food or drinking water, so some people have such a need to write or sing or draw. For Katie it’s writing. With no greater desire in life than God, nature, people, horses and writing, Katie will ‘attempt’ to write- always- with the intent to fulfill what she believes God has put on her heart. To Him alone be the glory.