In my Bible reading this morning, I came on the following verses: (Psalm 121)
1I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
I’ve been chewing on this concept as Lord-as-shield, as opposed to my own personal bravado.
Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
OT – Lord is shield. NT – Shield of faith. Faith in what? Or … in Whom? It’s a pretty thing, that my shield is faith in the Lord who is my shield. So long as I trust (have faith in) the Lord to shield me, I carry that shield-of-faith with me always.
I’ve been trying to be harder, stronger. That is not my path or my purpose. I’m just supposed to keep walking and not worry – because the Lord is my shield, and I have faith in Him. Faith-of-a-child… the Father will shield me, and I can say, “what arrows?” I can stop worrying about keeping my shield arm strong, and spend more time sharpening my sword by spending lots and lots of time with it.
God is patient to teach me this lesson. I live somewhere that isn’t as safe as it might be… and I’m never bothered. Protected. I could play anecdotes with you – I have with some of my online friends – but suffice to say I’m not making that up. It doesn’t mean I should be foolish, but it does show me how God has always protected me, and I can stop worrying *so much* about the stuff that is in my life that I think I should be able to manage. That physical danger? Not mine to manage, what is the 5’2″ gimpy woman going to do about it? But other dangers? I think I ought to manage those. That I should put on the mask of bravado and be strong. Rawr.
But no. No. I should just … keep surfing this wave, focusing on God and whatever He brings to my life and not fussing about my own strength, my own preparations, my own knowledge… it’s not about *me*, the strength is not mine. It never was mine.
-takes a deep breath- Time to stop worrying so much and just be.
Matthew 6:25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.