But you, O Lord, are a Shield about me, my Glory, and the Lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3
Do you recall a time when someone you loved, someone you looked up to, someone you adored, took your lowered head and gently raised your chin with their hand, their fingertips? You may have been a child, a teen, or an adult. Your lip may have been quivering, a tear running down your cheek. That person lifted your head until your eyes met theirs. You saw their loving eyes and sensed the caring they had towards you. Your heart was touched by this one’s protection, reassurance, and love for you, for just you at that very moment. Slow down and remember such a moment, such a person as this. Ponder the memory. Sense the moment right now.
God, our Father, feels this way about us…even more so.
God is my Shield. He encircles me with His strength, His power, and His might. He defends and protects me in ways I cannot even know.
He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in Whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me. Psalm 144:2
God is majestic. He deserves reverential love and awe as I kneel before Him.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Psalm 62:7
He lifts me up high. And as I stand with Him, let nothing in the world pull me down. He sent His Son to die for me and nailed my sins to that cross. I do not want to be ashamed, but to stand strong in the LORD.
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:18-20
Lifting my head is looking up and seeing the Father’s glory, His reflection, His love. His touch is gentle and kind. He created me and knows my potential. He lifts me up. Confidence is being built in me through Him.
Lifting my head helps me to see beyond my circumstances. My head is higher than anything that is not of God. None of that can control me when my head is lifted.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40:2
I can see above to the heavenly realm. I can know that God, my Father, lights the skies for my way as I follow Him. Fears are released and given no power for the LORD is the power.
“Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?” Matthew 12:11
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10
LORD, I pray that each of us seek You, the Lifter of our heads, our Salvation. You call us to come before You in thanksgiving and praise. We bow before the cross, asking for forgiveness, knowing that You have already poured Your grace upon us. Abba Father, thank You for giving us vision to see beyond our current point in this life, past the pain and suffering, whether of ourselves or of those we love or of others in this world. You know all and You call us to Your side, lifting us from the miry clay. With gratitude for being the Lifter of my head, I pray in the Name of Jesus. Thank You, Sweet LORD. Amen.
Some 21+ years ago, I published a similar post on Being Woven. Originally, it was for an online devotional called “Granola Bar Devotionals.”Alisa Hope Wagner, also at enLIVEn Devotionals, the author and gatherer of writings of others, has gone on to write many books, inspiring other women to continue writing in new venues.
“For Who is God, but the LORD? And Who is a rock, except our God?” 2 Samuel 22:32
He is my God, and He Alone is my everything. Trusting in Him is the way I must turn, the way I want to turn, although I am not always faithful to do so. I do want to turn to Him alone. And, oh, when I try to go things alone I get lost, confused, independent, defeated, and scorned sometimes. But my heart’s desire is to find my God and know Him as He is. I want to seek His Name(s) and know He is my everything in all of my situations, in all of my ways, in all of my deeds. I want to praise Him for He is God. He is my God.
Worthy to be praised! Hallelujah! and Amen!
David wrote this psalm, recorded in 2 Samuel 22. Matthew Henry, from his Commentary on 2 Samuel 22 with: “This chapter is a psalm, a psalm of praise; we find it afterwards inserted among David’s psalms (Psalm 18) with some little variation. We have it here as it was first composed for his own closet and his own harp; but there we have it as it was afterwards delivered to the chief musician for the service of the church, a second edition with some amendments; for, though it was calculated primarily for David’s case, yet it might indifferently serve the devotion of others, in giving thanks for their deliverances; or it was intended that his people should thus join with him in his thanksgivings, because, being a public person, his deliverances were to be accounted public blessings and called for public acknowledgments.“
David, in his closet, his cave, most likely near the battlefield, writes these beautiful and strong words. How blessed we are to be able to praise God using these words as they pertain to our lives in the ways God means them to be used in our very lives. We have enemies whether on earth or in the air. We have troubles and mis-steps in our lives. We need to focus on the One Who rescues us, holds us, provides for us, takes the burdens from us.
And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2 Samuel 22:1
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love you, O LORD, my strength. Psalm 18:1
He said, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. 2 Samuel 22:2-3
And later in 2 Samuel, David praised the Lord again with similar words:
“The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation,… 2 Samuel 22:47
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:31
This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless. 2 Samuel 22:33
Psalm 18 has these beautiful descriptions of David’s God, our God:
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
“In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears. 2 Samuel 22:7
In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:4
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 18:3
He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. 2 Samuel 2:20
He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:19
For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness. 2 Samuel 22:29
For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. Psalm 18:28
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:31
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
“The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation,…” 2 Samuel 22:47
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation— Psalm 18:46
From “Treasury of David”on Psalm 18 by C. H. Spurgeon:
“We have another form of this Psalm, with significant variations (2 Samuel 22), and this suggests the idea that it was sung by David at different times when he reviewed his own remarkable history, and observed the gracious hand of God in it all. Like Addison’s hymn beginning, “When all thy mercies, O my God,” this Psalm is the song of a grateful heart overwhelmed with a retrospect of the manifold and marvellous mercies of God. We will call it THE GRATEFUL RETROSPECT. The title deserves attention. David, although at this time a king, calls himself, “the servant of Jehovah,” but makes no mention of his royalty; hence we gather that he counted it a higher honour to be the Lord’s servant than to be Judah’s king. Right wisely did he judge. Being possessed of poetic genius, he served the Lord by composing this Psalm for the use of the Lord’s house; and it is no mean work to conduct or to improve that delightful part of divine worship, the singing of the Lord’s praises. Would that more musical and poetical ability were consecrated, and that our chief musicians were fit to be trusted with devout and spiritual psalmody. It should be observed that the words of this song were not composed with the view of gratifying the taste of men, but were spoken unto Jehovah. It were well if we had a more single eye to the honour of the Lord in our singing, and in all other hallowed exercises. That praise is little worth which is not directed solely and heartily to the Lord. David might well be thus direct in his gratitude, for he owed all to his God, and in the day of his deliverance he had none to thank but the Lord, whose right hand had preserved him. We too should feel that to God and God alone we owe the greatest debt of honour and thanksgiving.
“If it be remembered that the second (third) and the forty-ninth (fiftieth) verses are both quoted in the New Testament (Hebrews 2:13/2 Samuel 22:3; Romans 15:9/2 Samuel 22:50) as the words of the Lord Jesus, it will be clear that a greater than David is here. Reader, you will not need our aid in this respect; if you know Jesus you will readily find him in his sorrows, deliverance, and triumphs all through this wonderful psalm.“
“For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to your name. Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.” 2 Samuel 22:50-51
For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to your name. Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever. Psalm 18:49-50
Just this very day, Sunday, July 25, 2021, Pastor Danny preached from Mark 4:35-41, “Who Then Is This?” As I planned to finish up this post later today, I was drawn to Mark 4:41 –
And they were filled with great fear (awe/reverence) and said to one another, “Who then is This, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4:41
Who then is This? … For Who is God? … God truly had powerful lessons for me this week through His Word.
Oh, that I would spend more time in It. Guide me, O Lord.
We sang this song in church…”Behold Our God“ twice this morning…during the music portion in the beginning of church and then as our final song. I have been singing it throughout the afternoon…praising my Lord.
The Bellevue Baptist Church (Cordova & Memphis, TN) choir/church is one of my favorite recordings of it. As I sang it from home this morning, I lifted my hands in praise and belted it out as though I have a fine voice. Only between God and me…(and Bonnie Girl, the cat), God knows the voice He created in me and He loves it when I worship and praise Him!
I delight in You, O Lord, and bow at Your feet. Blessed be the Lord for You are my Strength, my Refuge, my Rock and my Sword. Your Word is Truth and Power for and to me. Your beauty is magnificent. Your peace is the quiet in the storm, the rain on the roof, the shade of purple in a Lavender plant. Your Light is bright, a Lamp forever for all to see. I pray that I may be a light in this dark world. Your gentleness and kindness flow from the sweet words of friends, their acceptance of who I am as Your creation for, somehow, they see me through Your eyes. The Glory of the Lord is that which I sing from the mountaintops and from the valleys. You are my All in all. Hallelujah to my God on High. You are my King, my Salvation, my Love, my Husband, my Savior and my Lord. I thank you for giving me the ability to praise You, sweet and precious Lord. Thank You for raining Your mercy upon me, for opening my eyes and ears to Your saving grace. You are my God. You reign in my heart, in my life. Hallelujah! Behold, You are my God. I pray all in Your Son’s Holy Name. Amen.
My maternal great grandfather sought refuge in this country, searching for work, an income. My paternal great, great, great grandfather sought refuge in this country to escape religious persecution.
Today, many seek refuge in this United States of America due to fear of violence, gangs, drug cartels, dictators, and so much more.
Inside the lower pedestal of The Statue of Liberty is this sonnet by Emma Lazarus:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
This poem was written as a donation for an auction of art and literary works conducted by the “Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty” to raise money for the pedestal’s construction. “Bartholdi’s gigantic effigy was originally intended as a monument to the principles of international republicanism, but ‘The New Colossus’ reinvented the statue’s purpose, turning Liberty into a welcoming mother, a symbol of hope to the outcasts and downtrodden of the world.”. The swarms of immigrants knocking on the Eastern shore of this United States quickly turned the statue into a welcoming-harbor greeter.
So I write this with a heavy heart which I have held for years, more so, these past four years. I have seen pictures of migrants, refugees, young, old, with all range of skin shade pigmentation standing, crying, grasping, yelling, crawling, swimming, climbing, and drowning to get into this country. Babies and children of all ages torn from parents’ arms. Four years later, we have 628 children (now) whose parents cannot be found (although just this past week of December 1, 2020, knowledge of phone numbers has been brought to our attention). Even though, my heart breaks. Tears roll down my face as I type these words.
This is not the America that my grandparents sought those many years ago.
Yes, we have had problems throughout our history. We have lived with segregation, racial injustice, the KKK. Women have had to fight for the right to vote, for equal pay, for the ability to obtain a job that once only men held. We had the Civil War…the South against the North. We have taken land and rights from Indigent Peoples. Yes, this nation is far from perfect.
My great, great grandfather was Italian. He was not liked by the immigrants who came before the Italians. I have Irish immigrants and Scottish immigrants as my kin. They were not liked by their predecessors. It seemed like each group wanted to close the gates, not allowing anyone else in to this country. (This still happens as people move from state to state or area to area, desiring to close the gate once they have found a beautiful place.).
Yet, my mother grew up in Chicago at the turn of the last century in a neighborhood made up of Italians, Irish, Russians, Polish, Jewish, Catholics, Protestants. They loved one another. My grandmother even raised the 6 Bates girls who became orphans when both Russian parents died. Grandma was Irish/English/German. Mama loved to help a widow and her daughter make dinner because the food was Jewish, something different from her own fare. During the Depression, if a family could afford to make bread or soup or both, they would share with those who did not have enough. It was the way it was on Mama’s block of immigrants.
The United States of America seems not to be the UNITED states in some substantial aspects. We are broken.
That melanin of the skin is so distinguishable, not only by black and brown and white, but red and blue, bigot and humanitarian, racist/supremacist and equalitarian/humanitarian, and on and on!
Upon looking up the antonyms of several words, I found “bigot” to mean “one who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.” Words of opposite definition of “bigot” include: liberal, moderate, conservative, middle-of-the-road, militant. Does that not cover just about all of us? So how can we all come from various and unique backgrounds and be a united people? The real question is…how can we NOT?
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
I want to love unconditionally. That is hard. But I want to.
I desire to be united with my brothers and sisters, my neighbors, my church family. Speaking out about concerns and issues can bring unrequested wrath from people I love. I do not handle that well. AT ALL!
God has called us to love.
By His Word, God leads us in the ways in which He wants us to walk. Again and again! …
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You? And when did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:31-40
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27
“To keep oneself unstained from the world” … “to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”… oh, I need Your help, Father. Please hold me still, guarding the words of my mouth, whether verbally or through the written word. I am sorry for words I have uttered recently that drew unexpected words from others. Forgive me, LORD, even though they were words I am feeling. I need to not be drawn into these worldly concerns. Your ways are infinitely better, LORD. Infinitely. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
“Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” Zechariah 7:9-10
…learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. Isaiah 1:17
Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. Jeremiah 22:3
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Father God, I am sorry for those times and situations when I betrayed You because I did not love, did not give, did not do unto You for I did not do unto the least of those in need. I am truly sorry. As I walk through life for the remainder of my days, please guide my steps, my words, and my actions…that I would be obedient to Your call. I know through my mother’s own stories of our relatives that times were not always easy being a stranger in a strange land. I also know through my mother’s voice that people did learn to get along, to love one another, to wrap their arms around everyone no matter the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their temperament. She taught me and my sisters to love as You teach us. I pray for this nation and this world. I pray for the emigrants who have left their home country and are desiring to enter a new country, possibly the USA. I pray, that one day soon, the opportunity, the gates, will be opened to them. I pray for the DACA children/adults who were brought into the USA innocently with a parent and have known only the United States as their home. I pray for those 628 children who are still in custody in the United States whose parents cannot be found. You know where every single one is. Please unite those precious children with their parents, LORD. They are lambs who need the Shepherd to reunite them with those who bore them. I pray for everyone who is running away from a scary, violent situation who need a new home. Father, You know each one of them around the world. I ask You to guide us as a people to wrap our arms around them. I pray all in the Name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.
 The New Colossus – Lehman, David, ed. (2006). The Oxford Book of American Poetry. Oxford University Press. p. 184. OCLC62697134
 Sutherland, Cara A (2003), The Statue of Liberty: The Museum of the City of New York, Barnes & Noble, p. 77, ISBN0-7607-3890-4, auction of art and literary work; Mark Twain also contributed.
 Auster, Paul (2005), “NYC = USA”, Collected Prose: Autobiographical Writings, True Stories, Critical Essays, Prefaces, and Collaborations with Artists, Picador, p. 508, ISBN0-312-42468-X.
And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, … Acts 17:26
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,… NKJV
He made also of one blood every nation of men, to dwell upon all the face of the earth — having ordained times before appointed, and the bounds of their dwellings — YLT
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. NIV
We have been created from one man, from one blood. All nations, all people were created by the God of the universe.
So Godcreated man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
God created each and every one of us. God created us in HIS IMAGE. This is God’s powerful Truth. The color of our skin is a piece of this beautiful created human being.
Melanin has been placed in our epidermis, the outermost layer of our skin. It is a God-created phenomenon in becoming the many shades of skin that exist in human beings.
We are all humans. That is our one race. We are human beings = “Homo sapiens“= “man,” “earthly being” + “wise, sapient” (discerning, insightful, perceptive, prudent, sage, sagacious). Our skin tones may be different but we are one and the same race yet individuals in God’s eyes.
“We are all one race (“one blood” in Acts 17:26), the human race, descended from two ancestors, Adam and Eve. When we stand boldly and confidently on God’s Word, we can correctly understand the unity and diversity of the human race.” *
We are also loved equally and perfectly by the God of the universe.
May we see one another with this love which God has for us.
And He called us to love one another.
Jesus said: A new commandment I give to you, that you loveone another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love oneanother. John 13:34
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:11-12
We love because He first lovedus. 1 John 4:19
As I draw near to God, Your love pours into me. Father God, please keep pouring Your love into me so that I may love as You do, as You call me to do. I love You, LORD. May I grow in Your Love as I seek to be more and more like You. You created me in Your image. I want to become the one whom You created me to be. Then I can stand for and with every human being on this earth because You created each one for Your Glory, LORD. May I stand up for the many George Floyd’s of this world, no matter what color their skin tone may be. We are all and each equal in Your sight.
The many who are taking to the streets of this world for the good of humanity, I pray they know You as their Lord and Savior. For those who do not …YET… I pray…
I pray, Father, that this all may be true for all. I give You all the glory for all that may be. Amen.
…that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us,… Acts 7:27
At this time of turmoil, let there be togetherness.
At this time of descent, let there be ascent.
At this time of hurt, let there be healing.
At this time of anger, let there be forbearance.
At this time of hatred, let there be love.
For such a time as this, may we see You, the One Who is Almighty God, our Fortress, our Salvation.
Thank You so, Dearest God. I love You dearly.
… from the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint. Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, for You have been my Refuge, a Strong Tower against the enemy. Psalm 61:2-3
May our eyes be colorblind if they see differences in skin tones. May the eyes of our hearts see through the eyes of God for He is not colorblind, for He made us all. He loves us all. I love You, Lord. So much. Guide us. Keep us accountable to You and keep us from harming anyone else, from speaking words that hurt another. Keep us close that we will look to You for every answer to every question we have. Remind us that You loved us first as we face each new moment. I love you, Father.
*Quote: https://answersingenesis.org/racism/one-race/ by Dr. Georgia Purdom who holds a PhD in molecular genetics from The Ohio State University. She formerly served as an assistant and associate professor of biology at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. Dr. Purdom is the director of Educational Content and actively speaks and writes for “Answers in Genesis.”
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.Psalm 3:3 ESV
Can you recall a time when someone you loved, someone you looked up to and adored, took your lowered head and gently raised your chin with his or her hand? Your lip may have been quivering, a tear running down your cheek. That person lifted your head until your eyes met when you saw their loving eyes. You sensed the care and gentleness they had towards you. Your heart was touched by this one’s protection, love, reassurance, and care for you…just you at that very moment.
Slow down and remember such a moment, such a person as this. Ponder the memory. If you cannot find this memory, imagine such a one.
God, our Father, feels this way about us, even more so, I’d say. God is our Creator. He loves each one of us. He is our Shield. He encircles us with His strength, His power, and His might. He defends and protects us in ways we cannot even know.
…: He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge,….Psalm 144:2 ESV
God is our glory, deserving our praise and exaltation. He is majestic. As we kneel before Him, the love and reverence we feel towards Him is given.
In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.Psalm 62:7 NKJV
He lifts us up high. As we stand, let nothing in the world pull us down. He sent His Son to die for us and nailed our sins to the cross. Ashamed …no, we are not to be, but we are to stand strong in the LORD.
For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die. Philippians 1:20 NLT
Lifting my head is looking up and seeing the Father’s glory, His reflection, His love. His touch is gentle and kind. He created me and knows my potential. He lifts me up. Confidence is being built in me through Him. Lifting my head helps me to see beyond my circumstances. The grief I am in the midst of needs to be walked through over time, but my head is lifted higher than that grief. My head is also higher than anything that is not of God. None of that controls me when my head is lifted.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.Psalm 40:2 ESV
I can see above this earthly plane. I know that God, my Father, lights the skies for my way as I follow Him. Fears are released and given no power for the LORD is the power. The LORD steadies me, holding me securely as I walk this life’s journey.
“Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?”Matthew 12:11 ESV
LORD, I pray that each one of us seek You, the Lifter of our heads, our salvation. You call us to come before You in thanksgiving and praise. We bow before the cross and ask for forgiveness, knowing that You have already poured Your grace upon us. Abba Father, thank You for giving us vision to see beyond our current point in this life, past the pain and suffering whether of ourselves, those around us, or of those in this world. You know all. You call us to Your side, lifting us from the miry clay. Thank You, Sweet LORD. We love You dearly. Amen.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the LORD, and He will lift you up.James 4:10 NKJV
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; …**
a castle, defense, fort(-ress), (strong) hold, be hunted, net, snare, strong place
(And just for clarity, the word bulwark means a defensive wall, rampart, fortification
a person, institution, or principle that acts as a defense.)
God is my Fortress. He is the place I run to and take refuge. He is the fortification, the wall, the stronghold behind which I crouch and know I am protected. He is the One Who places me in the cleft of the rock where I am sheltered. Praise Him for tucking me into a safe place no matter what I am going through or feeling. Right now, He is my safety net. He is the wall behind which I hide. Thank You, my Father, for You are so much more than I could imagine. Thank You for protecting me and caring about and for me as I walk through this valley of the shadow of death. Oh, thank You, Lord for protecting me.
1 And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said, “The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer, 3 my God, my Rock, in whom I take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my Stronghold and my Refuge, my Savior; you save me from violence. 4 I call upon the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.2 Samuel 22:1-4
God is all of those to me too. David has given me a place to see just how mighty our God truly is. The Rock, Shield, Stronghold, Fortress…all depicting strength and power and security. This is the God Whom I walk with daily. I feel His sheltering Presence all around me. Oh, how wonderful!
For You are my Rock and my Fortress; and for Your name’s sake You lead me and guide me.Psalm 31:3
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the Lord, “My Refuge and my Fortress, my God, in Whom I trust.”Psalm 91:1-2
Lord, as I walk this journey, so much of it I must walk alone for grief is different for each one of us. There are pieces and parts that may be similar, yet never quite the same whether it is the time, the circumstances, the way one died…so many factors. BUT…I am never really alone for You are with me…always. You guide me and comfort me, love me and hold me. You are the fortress to which I come and find safety. The world cannot touch me when I abide in You for the walls of the Fortress are deep and wide. Walking obediently in You shelters me too. O Lord, I am so blessed. Yet, this road I am on is so hard, so difficult. I miss Kenneth so. He loved me like no one else. Yes, Mom loved me dearly. A mother’s love is so different than a husband’s love though. So I sense I would be comparing apples to oranges if I were to compare my mother’s love to my husband’s. Kenneth and I had a marriage with You, Christ Jesus, our Center. You never left us. Thank You, Father.
Although that threefold cord feels broken to me now, I do not believe it is. Kenneth has gone on ahead of me, as he told me near the end of his life on earth. I do not know anything about life after death, but I sense that this God-given marriage is still that…given to me, to us, by You, God. Of course, I still miss my Kenneth. I know now that he was on loan to me for 25 years for which I am so grateful. His time to return Home came. Now I am learning to walk this path with You, Lord, and without Kenneth. Sometimes I have doubts and fears. Then You remind me of the Mighty Fortress that You are. I stand inside the walls and know that I am safe and protected. I am filled with gratitude for Who You are. I pray in the Name of Christ Jesus. Amen.
The Lord is over all and the only One Who can supply all our needs, provide all the help that the world just cannot supply. With so much going on in these days we are living in, I so wish that things would be better, that people would not be oppressed, hungry, killed. I just want us to live in peace with everyone, with all nations. But Jesus said:
And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.Mark 13:7-8
…but while we live in these times, we are to remember Who is the only One Who saved us, can save us, and will come for us when the time is right.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lordas long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
3 Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
Father God, I lift my hands to You and feel Your strong arms reach to me, this child of Yours. You hold me closely and I am secure in You. Father, why is there so much that feels so terribly wrong in this world? Why is there starvation? war? murder of innocents? fear of what others may do? chaos? kidnappings? … this list does not end, Father. Why? I am sad, Abba Father. Just too much that is wrong. But there is only one answer and that is the fall of man; evil came to live with us. Oh, Father, Your strong arms remind me that one day, Jesus will come for us who have placed our trust in the One Who is Salvation, Who is the Holy One, and will bring us into His home where there will be no more tears nor pain.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Father, I want to stay close and feel the comfort of Your love as I am wrapped in Your arms.I thank You for the very salvation that Jesus brought to us so that one day we will be free from all that is of this world. I have always been sad that You felt that You were sorry You ever made man back in the early times.
So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for Iamsorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:7)
I sense You feel that way today. But You know the times for they are in Your hands. Walk with me through the remaining days of my life. I crawl into Your arms, my Abba Father, one of your lambs. I thank You and love You so. In the Strong Name of Jesus. Amen.