“From Heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on the earth- he who forms the hearts of all, who considers all they do…The eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine…We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:13-15,18-19, 20-22
The shield is an image that invokes the idea that the one who holds it is in the midst of a battle. It is the thin piece of metal that protects one from getting harmed. It is not something we hide behind, yet it is there so that when we do face times of great peril and danger, we do not have to fear what the enemy may bring.
I’ve been meddling over this thought a lot these past few weeks, even more so when I heard a sermon about the difference between hurt and harm. Hurt implies pain. From loss, death, betrayal, loneliness, fear, depression, etc…. Harm on the other hand, is when we allow the darkness from this pain to permeate our hearts and cause irrevocable damage that affects our testimony, personhood, and the way we love others and allow them to love us. It is easy to confuse the two. It is even easier to think that the God we serve somehow causes harm to beset us.
The more pain I face, the more I see the opposite it true. The Bible promises that we will experience pain. It is our choice if we will allow this pain to merely hurt us or forever harm us. It is only this pain that brings us to our knees. It makes us long for a world that only our heart can recognize because at its very core it knows that we were made to be different than we are now- whole, at peace, perfect, and in a world that only knows how to love the way He loves us.
Until I am there, I know that He will protect me from letting hurt question His faithfulness and love for me. I know that He will not let harm beset me from famine. But I pray that He will keep me ever so slightly hungry that I don’t forget that He is the only One who will satisfy me fully with the Hope He has set before me.
Megan (Giberson) Benson has been involved at Delanco Camp as a camper, counselor, dean of women, teacher, and worship leader. She lives in Port Republic with her husband, Justin, and two daughters, Molly & Sadie. Image credit: By Bazmasta (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.