May we SEE You as our shield

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7

The arrows were flying fast, and aimed right at my heart. Arrows not shot from a bow, but arrows in the form of lies, tailored made to hit at my insecurities and fears. These arrows were not fired from the outside, but launched from my own thoughts and the lying voice of the deceiver. “You are not good enough.” “How can you think you fit in with these people.” “You messed up again! How can you write about God’s truth when you blow it so much?”

I wish I could say this was an experience from my past that I have triumphantly overcome. But that would be a lie. This scenario happens everyday. My inner dialogue is full of these thoughts, and more. As a people-pleasing perfectionistic introvert, condemning thoughts and insecurities are my constant nemesis. They are my own Goliath. At times it is so hard to quiet those thoughts, that they might as well be nine feet tall in a full suit of armor. However, my God is bigger and stronger than my thoughts. I must constantly remind myself of that truth.

I have been teaching a class of two year olds about King David, in our weekly Bible study. Last week, we were talking about God as our shield. As I was holding up a toy shield to illustrate how a shield would protect a person from an arrow, God opened my eyes to my need for Him to be my shield. I need Him to protect me from satan’s lies and from my own insecurities.

When my insecurities say, “You’re not good enough”; God my shield deflects that lie with the truth: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

When I hear in my head, “You messed up again. How can you possibly lead others?”, God my shield deflects that arrow with the truth: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

An arrow of deceit claims that “You must please others”, but God my shield deflects that lie with the truth: “Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.”

I may not carry a big shield around all day, but I carry something even better. I carry God’s word in my heart. What more reason could I have to memorize and meditate on His word? I need to know it, so I can use it. With arrows flying all around, what good would a shield be to a soldier if it was lying on the ground? A shield is only useful if it is being held. I need to hold God’s word in my heart so that the enemy’s arrows won’t be able to strike there.

I know that my battle with my insecurities will last my lifetime, but I am so thankful that my God is bigger than my fears. The battle keeps me picking up my shield daily, and keeps me in God’s word. Some days, I feel as if I allow my shield to drop and I lose the battle, but praise God, He has already won the war!

Today, may we all pick up our shield of truth and walk with confidence in Whose we are.

“Lord, help us to see You as our shield as we trust You with our insecurities and fears. Thank You for being far bigger and stronger than any arrow ever launched at us.”

May we SEE You in Your Creation

So that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:6

I was able to “see” God in a powerful way this past weekend as I witnessed a glorious sunrise in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The beach was deserted, and the weather was cold, but my soul was filled with God’s presence, and my heart was warmed by His love.

As I sat on the beach watching the sky turn from indigo blue to an illuminated explosion of color, my heart overflowed at the faithfulness and sovereignty of the Creator. I found such comfort watching God call forth the sun just as He has every day since He spoke it into existence. In that moment, I was reminded that God is still on His throne and forever will be.

God is sovereign, powerful and faithful and nothing can ever change that. There is no disease, disaster or diabolical plot that could ever overwhelm Him. He is not surprised by the chaos and brokenness in our world. In fact, He is the One who warned us that chaos and brokenness would result from people choosing their own way over His. Yet He graciously provides refuge and strength for those who trust in Him. While I may not know what the future holds, praise God I know the One who holds the future!

As the sun rose higher in the sky, I played my favorite worship songs and let myself fully experience the moment. For those few minutes, nothing else mattered. I was not afraid of the “what if’s” or “what is to come.” It was just me with my Sovereign and Powerful King. It was so easy to “see” Him in the colors and beauty before me. I pray that He will open my eyes more to those moments; those glimpses of Him as seen in His glorious creation.


“Lord, may we SEE You in Your creation as we look to You instead of our fears.”

May we SEE Your invitation

“[Jesus] said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Come here.’” Mark 3:3

I love when God allows us to “see” Him through His own words. After writing a curriculum lesson on Mark chapter three, where Jesus healed a man with a withered and deformed hand, I found myself thinking all week about the words Jesus spoke to the man. This man had most likely experienced nothing but painful rejection and isolation throughout his entire life. People would have walked away from him, avoided eye contact and treated him as if he were invisible, and yet Jesus beckoned the man to come to Him.

I wonder what the man must have felt as the eyes of the Messiah were lovingly turned toward him. What must that man have thought as the Son of God beckoned him to come? Did he feel a magnetic pull toward his Creator? Did his heart quicken with every step? As he stood by the Savior of the world when Jesus asked the crowd if it was “lawful to do good or harm, to save life or to kill on the Sabbath”, could he take his eyes off Jesus? What did the man do when Jesus became angry at the calloused, self-righteousness of the Pharisee’s lack of response? And then, as Jesus told the man to “stretch out your hand” and He healed his withered ineffective hand, did the man shout and leap for joy or was he completely incapable of speech at the total restoration and healing touch of the Savior?

“Come here.” Such precious words from our Lord.

I can hear our Savior’s gentle voice saying:

Broken child, come here.

Lost lamb, come here.

Hurting daughter, come here.

Striving son, come here.

Wounded spirit, come here.

Withered heart, come here.

Come to the only One who can truly heal and truly restore. Do not give into the the lie that you must strive to follow man made rules in order to find acceptance and value. Instead, “come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Let the love of Jesus heal what is withered and ineffective. Let the One who came to save, heal your heart and soul.

“Come here”

“Lord, may we see Your precious invitation to “come here” and may we trust You to heal our brokenness.”

May we SEE You as the Lifter of our heads

“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3

My son wouldn’t look at me. Frustrated, exhausted tears streamed down his eleven year old cheeks, and he didn’t want me to see him cry. He is in his first year of middle school and it is proving much harder than he thought it would be.  He has worked harder this week than any other in his life, and was upset over a test that did not go well.

My little boy is growing up and taking on more responsibility. He is learning time management, how to set priorities, self-motivation and natural consequences. But learning is hard, growing pains hurt, and as little boy fights with emerging teenager, the stress begins to take its toll. He is tired, frustrated, grumpy, excited, silly, sweet, opinionated, defeated, and triumphant all within a span of five minutes sometimes! 🙂

I was having my own internal war as I watched him cry. The mama bear in me wanted to scream at the teachers for giving him too much work, the perfectionist in me wanted to interrogate my son to see what he was doing wrong and fix it, the counselor in me wanted to work on coping strategies and self-talk. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit in me brought Psalm 3 to mind which silenced all the other voices in my head.

As I looked at my sweet boy hiding his face in the sofa cushions, I knelt down beside him and asked him to look at me. He sat up, but would not meet my eyes. I gently lifted his head and looked into his watery blue eyes. At that moment, I thought about all the times God has lifted my head: all the times I knew I had blown it, the trials that felt too hard, the times when shame kept me from running to Him, the times I had tried to do things my own way and messed everything up. During those times, I felt unlovable and unworthy and yet, my King gently took my head in His loving, powerful hands and lifted my eyes to meet His.

I told my son, through my own tears, that I loved him no matter what. I explained that my love does not depend on his performance or a number written on a test paper. I am proud of him for trying his best and for doing it without much complaining. I wanted him to see my face and my eyes as I told him I will always love him and we will figure this middle school thing out together.

My words were the same ones I have spoken before, but his reaction to them was different. He really seemed to believe me this time. He hugged me and walked away lighter. The defeated vibe was gone, replaced by hope. As I sat there pondering his reaction, I realized that he saw in my eyes I really meant what I was saying.

However, while I do mean those words, my love is not perfect and I will mess up. But God’s love is perfect and He never messes up. When God lifts our heads, He desires that we see Him for who He truly is: our perfect Creator, King and Redeemer. It is overwhelming to think that God loves me; just as I am in this very moment. I don’t have to perform well for God to love me. I don’t have to get myself together for God to love me. I don’t have to feel lovable for God to love me. He just does! God is love and He loves me. That is a mind blowing truth.

Today, if you are feeling unlovable and unworthy I urge you to ask God to lift up your head and lead you to His word, so you may SEE just how much He loves you.

“Lord, I thank you for being the lifter of my head. Please help me rest in the warmth and truth of Your love today.”