Monday, April 25, 2016

Shields of Protection

Gratitude Year 4 - Day 116: Today, I am grateful for shields of protection. 

I am the mother of sons. The first thing that comes to mind are super hero shields.  "The Bat Shield" was amazing. Captain America has a really great shield, too. A shield is a smart thing to pack when headed into danger...or off to work on a Monday. 

There are many kinds of "shields" that we use daily for protection:
Umbrellas shield us from the rain.
Sunscreen protects us from the sun.
Sunglasses and safety goggles protect our eyes. 
Earplugs shield our ears from factory noise or gunfire.
Shoes...thought barefoot is my favorite...protect our feet from dangerous ground.
Helmets keep us safe.
Gloves create a barrier from cold and dangerous things.

The list could go on and on. Shields of protection provide safety and help us endure whatever task or weather element is in our path. 

We weren't promised an easy path...we were promised protection and refuge. There are times the struggle makes no sense at all and we ask "Why?".

Remember how frustrated we were when our parents would not answer all of our "why" questions? How different that scenario looks when we become the adult or the parent who knows more than they know... and it would not be helpful... and might even be hurtful to give the whole explanation or the big picture. So, we ask them to trust us. In time they will understand. 

Frankly, today's trouble is enough to manage. I am grateful for God' promises. 

This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. -Psalm 18:30

His way is perfect...but His ways are not our ways.  His word is true because he is truth. He shields all who choose to seek his protection.  It doesn't mean he removes us from the battle, but... He will go before us and we can hide in him, behind him and know we are surrounded by his love, even when the wars of life rage around us. 

When I was a teen, Twila Paris came out with a song called "Warrior is a Child". It was so reflective of how we humans feel at times. There are moments... and even seasons... when we grows weary and tired.  Weary from the journey. Here are some of the lyrics:

Lately I've been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I'm amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don't see inside of me
I'm hiding all the tears
And they don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor

We all grow tired of working hard to do the "right things" and never meeting the expectations of others, despite best efforts. Wounded by the battle of daily living whether it be family issues, employment struggles, illness, grief or financial struggles.  Life darts arrows at us and we are grateful for shields of protection as we make our way through the battle. 

He is our hiding place. Our refuge is sure in Him...even in when the path seems dark and unsure. 

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble;
    you surround me with shouts of deliverance. -Psalm 32:7

Our shields...shields of faith...raised through prayer, can join with other believers for additional strength and power. Never underestimate the value of a shield of protection! God's is better than Batman's! The cross of Christ is the ultimate shield. 

Today, I am grateful for shields of protection. 

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