But you, Lord, are a shield that protects me, you are my glory and the one who restores me. Psalms 3:3 NET
Several months ago, I had attended a gathering that had an ice breaker that required all attendees to respond aloud to: “What superhero would you be and why?”
Don’t you just love those kinds of questions in public and among strangers? As my mind was searching its own cerebral cyberspace for an adequate answer, I began to simultaneously count the number of heads that preceded me in an effort to see how much time I had to wrangle a response. In a crowd of unknown faces, that last thing you want them to remember about you is your weird answer.
My kids were now full grown adults. Superhero? Then it hit me that no one would be familiar with Darna. Darna is the Filipino version of Wonder Woman. And like Wonder Woman (and many other superheroes), she carries a shield.
For me, a shield is symbolic of strength and protection (primarily for the one using it, because they typically stand behind it). I’ve always thought of a shield as a warrior-worthy weapon (try saying that five times) — first image that comes to mind is a gladiator type of individual. Training for proper and effective use requires tremendous strength and strategy. Life and death was in the power of how well you were protected by your shield.
King David was a successful man of war, so obviously he was well-skilled in the art of wielding a shield in battle. When he writes in Psalms 3 about GOD being his shield, David is in a state of utter despair; and he is depending upon GOD — calling out to Him — to declare that only He can protect him (David) from his enemies.
The shields of soldiers in David’s time weighed in upwards of 20 pounds. When was the last time you lifted an object that weighed that much with one hand and twirled it like a baton? They were manipulated by the user to protect not only themselves from frontal attacks, but also to form a barrier in a group formation to protect a cluster of soldiers in active battle. These weapons were constructed to be highly impenetrable. The leather hides could deflect arrows and put up a good fight against swords and spears.
Like David, some of us have had experiences (maybe you’re presently in one) that have left us feeling vulnerable and ‘uncovered.’ David reminds us that we can do the same with our Heavenly Father — GOD wants to be our shield. He knows that we can’t battle alone.
When the world seems to narrow in on you, Girlfriend, and your situation seems bleak and overwhelming, it’s a human response to want to retreat. As if impending doom would somehow be deflected by our refusal to see things as they really are. That old adage of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ falsely telling us that if we avoid ‘it,’ or pretend we don’t ‘see it,’ magically ‘it’ will disappear and life will return to normal as if nothing happened. Not.
GOD will answer the cries of a broken spirit that genuinely pours out everything she has to offer. Especially when what she offers is a heap of broken dreams, aspirations, unmet goals, disappointments, devastated relationships — all of that. Whether it’s a trunkful, a closetful, a pocketful, or a lifetime — He is willing and able.
What things are you facing right now, Girlfriend? Have you lifted your voice towards heaven to ask GOD to shield you?
Maybe you’re wondering where GOD was when your situation occurred and you’re questioning ‘why’ He didn’t shield you … have you had that conversation with Him yet? Go ahead, He’s BIG enough to handle your toughest questions.
Maybe you’re thinking that ‘it’ really isn’t all that ‘bad.’ So how ‘bad’ does it have to get before you admit you need Divine intervention?
For the one who says she can fight her own battles — I ask how that’s going for you right now?
It’s okay to not be okay, but it’s not okay to stay there.
We can put on the happy façade for the outside world to see. No one wants to hang out the dirty laundry for publicity. You can smile among your church-going friends, wave a ‘GOD Bless you,’ even shout out a ‘Praise the Lord’ and have a hot mess brewing inside. But there will come a time of reckoning when that hot mess overflows from the pressure to keep it all contained. Time to give it up — the time of surrender is now.
There have been times, I’ll admit, that in hindsight, GOD has shielded me from my own destruction — making poor decisions, listening to bad advice, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, etc. I praise Him that He intervened when He did; in so many instances, I was so blinded by my own desires that I didn’t see the storm coming. Yet, He encased me within His love and showed me later what I had refused to see back then. Whew!
And then of course, there were the times GOD in His infinite Wisdom allowed for me to learn a lesson (or two or three or four …) and purposed my ugly situation. You’re not alone if this is your current status.
But here is a treat, Friend. Regardless of how we got there or what happened in the thick of it, He restores. Whether we were the instigators of our own demise, our Father goes beyond our wildest dreams and restores our broken down selves.
When our heads are hanging lower than the sunset and we are feeling all the defeat of the day, our loving Father takes care to raise up our tiny spirits from within. He will supernaturally pull us up from whatever fallout and aftermath — brush off the ashes from the battle — kiss our dirt smeared faces and mend our broken hearts. Yes, the wounds are there, and even the scars from former battles are visible. But they don’t hold us back, and if we set our minds on the One Who picks us out from amidst the pile we will rise stronger yet.
Listen, Friend, GOD doesn’t get tired of hearing us call out to Him. He actually wants us to depend upon Him for everything we need. So stop thinking that He is so far away from our reality that He doesn’t care or is too busy — we matter.
I can tell you from my own experiences that when I finally come to my senses and have my one-on-one with GOD, the burden is lifted when I cast it on Him to care for all of it — and I do mean all of it.
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 1 Peter 5:7 AMPC
But Linda, you don’t know what I’ve done and where I’ve been! And you’re right, Sister, I don’t. But GOD does — and He’s waiting to restore you, but you have to reach out and take His Offer.
Our verse above says all of your anxieties, worries, concerns — and all means all. What I treasure in this passage is the inclusion that He cares affectionately and watchfully. That resonates of the deepest filling with the intent to satisfy in all the nooks and crannies, attending to all the details that my mind can possibly imagine!
I don’t discount the necessity to connect and reach out to humans who can tangibly help you in your situation(s) — GOD has placed them there for you. Pray for Christ-honoring help and GOD will supply the need.
Allow The Lord GOD to be your shield — His living Word, His Power, His Presence, His Love — tuck yourself right in there, Girlfriend, and watch your life move forward with a strength and might you never knew possible. He promises to lift your head — it is only then that you will see your journey from a higher perspective — His Perspective.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Sweet Friend ~~