“The angel of the lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” Psalm 34v7
A friend asked me the other day if I thought that a guardian angel watched over my children. He pointed out the many times I wasn’t there to physically keep them from harm and the countless risks and threats that had been prevented in my absence. I did not have a ready answer for him but it got me thinking because as a parent the foremost thing on my mind is to keep my children secure.
But don’t we all need protecting? Don’t we seek out someone or something to keep us safe? We are fragile, we need to be protected. We take shelter from our raging environment. We hide or fight when an enemy invades. We cry out for support when hurt. I find the verb ‘encamp’ in the cited Bible verse to be so powerful and such a great image. It brings great comfort. And, importantly, it is not meant to be metaphorical.
Categories: Biblical Scriptures
Tags: angel, belief, children and family, encamp, faith, guardian, parent, protection, psalms, safe, shelter
“The thing that keeps God out of our lives is not our sin. It is our compulsion to pretend, to cover up our nakedness with fig leaves, to climb sycamore trees in order to see without being seen”.
Pete Greig. God on Mute. Page 78.
I’ve been challenged recently to be constantly and habitually honest in prayer. I’ve realized that I actually find it a lot easier to be honest to those closest to me than to really be honest to God. I find in prayer that it is all too easy to follow the same old format, to repeat the same fixed expressions, true and meaningful though they are. Even after looking through the Psalms and seeing how brutally honest some of those laments are, even after reading and talking to others about how God responds to our honesty, how it unfazes Him and how he responds to it, this still hasn’t meant that I’m any closer to being honest with God on a daily basis when I shut the door and pray to Him.
Possible Solution: Pray for God’s help to be more honest!
I want to briefly deviate from the proposed apologetics / social concern / human rights theme and shortly write about what has been happening at home recently. It fits in quite well to my first blog about prayer.
Last week both my wife and son were consecutively admitted to hospital with suspected food poisoning. I was naturally fearful about it and started to pray that they would both be ok. However, shortly after I prayed for their well-being, I realized that I was still just as worried as I was before.
If one does not sense some kind of peace of mind or reassurance from prayer, then one could deduce that s/he does not fully trust in whom s/he is praying to.
I cannot claim that after several days of hospital visits, anxious moments and earnest prayers that I now feel completely at ease with a still ongoing situation, but can state that I have found genuine encouragement and belief through several verses written thousands of years ago by people going through some considerable troubles of their own.
A few memorable ones:
“But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you… I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 56 verses 3-4. Written by King David when his enemies had captured him.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Proverbs 3 verse 5. Written by Solomon, the third King of Israel, between 971-931 B.C.