“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.”