I’ve never been able to see God so clearly in this role as I have this past year.
It’s been a year of mistakes, a whole lot of Grace, and repeated forgiveness. But through it there has also been a lot of growth and good change. I’m not who I was this time last year and that is because through the rough waters of this past year God has protected me.
“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;”
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
“For the LORD, your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”
“And call upon me in your day of trouble I will deliver you and you will honor me.”
I look at these verses and see Gods constant promises to protect me but certain times in life or even this year I see times that Gods protection looked like the exact opposite. There were certain instances in my life more often than I’d like to admit, where the things I wanted so bad were things that God was trying to protect me from. For that reason I felt as though God stopped protecting me; though it was the very opposite. Fairly recently I looked back at one of those incidents that I continued to have confusion over whether God was truly protecting me and I decided to ask him. I asked God in those times that I felt most unprotected, where was He? And He showed me that He never left my side and that some of the things that happened that hurt me the most were truly the very things He used to protect me.
Here is some of what I wrote down in the time that God was teaching me about His Protection…
I’m learning not to regret my life,
Not to wish away the hard days I’ve walked.
Suddenly my gaze has shifted,
to look back and see your place.
For days and nights I cried out to you in despair.
God why did you leave me to walk those days alone?
But no longer will I raise those cries,
For now I see you in those moments you never left my side.
You were my hedge of protection,
Pushing out the distractions I longed for.
Long before, I thought it was cruel,
Little did I know that it was you.
Those days of feeling stripped from what I thought I knew.
Feeling so broken I entered the unknown.
God you knew.
All along you were leading me.
When I look back to those most broken moments,
I see you piecing me back together.
I see you’re arms wrapped tight around me healing me with your grace.
You have been the one who loved me all along.
I’ve run to all these doors beggging for that love,
I’ve weeped and weeped because the doors always ended shut.
But you were always there freely offering your overflowing love,
So I will not regret those closed doors.
Because without those moments I wouldn’t have found the tears that cleared my vision.
And if those doors were opened I wouldn’t have kept walking,
For as I walked I looked back and saw your place.
Every moment you had been protecting me.
How should God being our protector change the way we live?
For me as I’ve been learning this about God it has given me the freedom to live for God in uncomfortable unsafe ways. Obedience doesn’t always look easy or always attainable BUT with His promise of protection I have freedom to walk that obedience out.
It has also helped me realize in those times where it feels like things are being stripped away from me that often it’s for my protection. I KNOW God is looking out for me, I KNOW His way is better than mine, so when He asks me to live a life without a clenched fist but palms wide open… I can only do that because God promises to protect me.
How do we remind ourselves that He’s our protector?
God has given us His word for a reason. If we’re memorizing verses of those promises then we are preparing ourselves with weapons to fight against the enemy. So, when the devil tries to convince you that the Lord has forgotten you or left you, you can fight back with truth.
Another way, continually be looking back in your life and asking God to show you His ways of protection in your life. Thank Him for that, and share that with others because they need to be reminded too.
Rest in the peace that comes with knowing your God fights for you, He will protect you!