Trusting Our Shield

Jer. 17:7-8
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Over the past couple of weeks we have been talking about taking refuge behind God’s shield.  So much of it depends on trust. Imagine for a minute going into a real battle with a sword and a shield.  When a soldier steps onto the field of battle they have learned to wield their sword and trust their shield.  Can you imagine stepping into a battle and standing behind a shield you do not trust?  It would be difficult to feel safe and secure as if you were in a refuge.

In Jeremiah we see that fear does not enter the equation if we have genuine trust. When we fear we cannot experience the sense of refuge and safety the Good Shepherd desires for our lives. The same is true for our kids. If they fear the world or worse us, they will not experience the sense of refuge they need to develop not only a trust in following us, but also the trust needed to follow the Lord for a lifetime.

I love the book of Jeremiah with its imagery and clarity.  In the passage above we see how crucial trust is, but right after verse 8 we find:

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?”

It is easy to take these verses out of the context of the entire book of Jeremiah and decide that the heart cannot be trusted, but if the Spirit resides in our hearts, we have a bit of a problem.  Thankfully, Jeremiah does not stop here.  He continues:

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved,
for you are my praise.

Behold, they say to me,
‘Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it come!’

I have not run away from being your shepherd,
nor have I desired the day of sickness.

You know what came out of my lips;
it was before your face.

Be not a terror to me;
you are my refuge in the day of disaster.”

Jeremiah seeks healing for his sick heart, something I see today is largely lost in our intellectual world.  We try to get everything done by ourselves alone and with what we know through self discipline and we expect our kids to do the same.  As I work with kids and parents, I find it is their hearts that need healing.  When this occurs, their thoughts, perspective and decisions change.  This has never been more clear to me than gong through my own storm this past year. the storm revealed just  how wounded my heart has been and how much that impacted my life and decisions.

It is not that we cannot trust our hearts at all, it is that we must examine their condition with a sense of openness and the Lord’s compassion. Until we see the damage and its effect, it is difficult to truly seek healing for areas of sensitivity, hardness and or pain.  It is our damaged areas that can cause us to tremble with fear or react in anger when our spouse or kids say things.  Absent the wound these little things would not impact us so deeply.

Trusting God, trusting our shield, requires a healthy heart that is not so easily swayed by the things that are said, done or not done around us.  Seeking a healthy heart is not easy; Paul states in Romans 3 that the Spirit circumcises the heart.  Having encountered a fair amount of this over the past 12 months I believe Paul used the right analogy.  Circumcision of the heart is painful, but also incredibly freeing.  When our hearts become whole, vibrant, and healthy, they are able to withstand the imperfections of those around us without fear, pain and reactions. This makes it far easier to trust and take refuge behind our true shield rather than trying to protect ourselves when areas of sensitivity are touched.  A wounded heart seeks to protect itself and when this happens. we are often unaware of being deceived.  A healthy heart finds peace in times of disaster. Jeremiah says, “You are my refuge in a time of disaster.”

Like Jeremiah let’s cry out for the Lord to heal our hearts and the hearts of our kids and stop focusing on the behaviors, reactions and crazy decisions that flow and seem oh so logical from a wounded heart.  Often is is critical to have a sounding board or guide to help healing come to our hearts.  If you would like to talk about my journey and pursue healing of your heart, please contact me and we will set a time to talk.


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