Psalm 3:3 “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”
I was talking with a friend about how we deal with the rough patches in our lives, and how pain, grief and anguish literally come down so hard that it physically takes its toll on our bodies. We even find ourselves walking with our heads down, looking at the ground. Our shoulders are rounded, breathing is shallow, and we physically encompass the phrase, “They’re carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.”
We’ve all been there, done that, worn the tee-shirt, and burned it! And, though I would like to think otherwise, the fact is we will probably face more dark valleys along the journey. I’d be lying if I said with a cheerful smile, “Oh, okay, God – bring it on! Sure, no problem, let’s do some more of those life lessons so I will be a more mature, holy, Christ-followin', Bible totin’ woman.” NOT!!!! I hate these lessons. I’m tired, I don’t want them, nor do I want any more stress, pain, pressure, anguish, brokenness, confusion, and tears. God, I just can’t do one more lesson, I can’t take one more thing. Can You just pllluuueeezzeee come back now so all this will be done and over with, because I am more than ready to go Home!!!
My friend brought Psalm 3:3 to my attention. And in my godly state, I must confess, I thought with a raised eyebrow, “Excuse me? You are a shield about me? Then why am I going through all this?” (Okay, so I don’t win the Steeped in Faith award this month.) I can intellectually wrap my brain around it, and I can believe it in my head, but when you’re in the middle of a big, bahonkin’ hot mess, it’s hard to fully embrace.
But here’s what resonated with me, what connected for me in this verse: “…the One who lifts my head.” My head has been so far down I have concrete scrape marks on my forehead. Yet here is a picture of a loving Father, who takes my head in both His hands, and gently raises my face up to His own. I imagine Him wiping the hair from my eyes, wiping the tears from my cheeks, and suddenly I take one long, deep breathe as I look up at Him. No words… just a silent moment. Then He gathers me into His arms and simply holds me, those everlasting arms shielding me.
It doesn’t mean it will all go away. It doesn’t mean I don’t have to go through this right now. It doesn’t mean I understand any better or like it any more or want it to stop any less. But what it does mean, for me, is that in this moment, I am shielded as I rest in my Father’s arms, and know He loves me, in spite of everything I’m experiencing and feeling at this point in my life. It may not be inspirational, nor is it some great theological revelation. It is what it is, and I find comfort in it, and enough courage to keep going on, my head a little higher.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
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