Does God Protect Us?
The Psalms are full of praise for God’s protection and deliverance. They’re also full of desperate cries from David when he felt that God had forgotten him. This morning I was reading the Psalms and in just a matter of minutes I saw both his confidence and his doubt. I ready of deliverance and silence, help and discipline, justice and mercy all seem to be part of the same Grace that we celebrate in Jesus. I don’t think we usually see it that way.
I thought of David and the times when he was under incredible stress, wondering if God would protect him. It often didn’t feel like God was protecting him. And as I meditated on that, the Lord did me a favor. . .I think. He reminded me of several, bone-headed decisions and choices I had made throughout my life. Some are so embarrassing I would not dare to commit them to ink! But rather than feel ashamed, I felt relieved and encouraged. Those decisions were brought to the Lord a long time ago and I have experienced deep healing and forgiveness over those. As I reviewed them I realized that God protected me THROUGH them. It’s what COULD have been that makes me shudder.
How much of His protection do we miss because we’re simply distracted or blinded by stress? How many of those instances that we have grieved actually been stories of God’s invisible protection and deliverance? Does He protect us? Yes! But I’m convinced that most of that activity we can only see in hindsight. In the moment, we feel that we are treading water, one breath away from disaster. Looking back, we see things that have been previously invisible to us.
I think THAT’s when David praised so beautifully. Relieved and refreshed, he penned the emotional psalms of praise for what he could look back and see.
Wednesday, we will celebrate what the original patriots faced in great fear. We will enjoy freedom that was a dream for them then. In hindsight we can see how much was at risk by defying the Crown. Their courage is starkly clear precisely because their fear was so well-deserved.
Will you trust Him enough to honor Him even when you feel deserted? We have His promise: “I will never leave nor forsake you.” Even when I remember the frightening missteps of my past, I’m encouraged to remember that He was walking with me, disciplining me, protecting me, prepared to restore me when I finally faced repentance before Him.