Psalm 3:1-3; 5:11-12 O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me . . . But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. . . Let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.
I have a friend who is going through an unbelievably tough time right now. She has a condition that prevents her from doing everything she is passionate about. It’s not at all clear yet whether this will ever heal or change. I noticed when talking with her this week that she feels her true battlefield is inside her own mind, fighting enemies like despair, anxiety, panic, and futility. And loneliness, because she basically can’t leave her home right now.
She is one who often in the past encouraged others (including me, I reminded her, in some of my tough times with Karis). Now she wonders whether that was all fake, a kind of hypocrisy, since she feels she’s not doing well in her own struggles. She doesn’t think she’s a good model of the trust in God she recommended to others.
Isn’t that just like the enemy, to “play dirty,” to punch us when we’re down, to know exactly where we’re vulnerable, where he can hurt us most? We, her friends, can help her trust in God’s shield of love as we surround her and fight for her in prayer. Not just one or two of us, but many of us, can help her hold her head high. We can do this because she is humble enough to admit she needs our help, that this battle is too big for her to manage alone.
I’ve mentioned before a tough time in my own struggle, when I confessed to a pastor that I didn’t feel able to trust God. Instead of judging, condemning, exhorting, or criticizing me (as I was already doing to myself), he said, “Then it’s time for the Body of Christ to have faith for you.”
Who do you know who needs you to help shield him or her from the attacks of the enemy? In what ways do you need God’s protection through the Body of Christ?