This morning my eight year old and I found a quiet moment to read a devotional together.
“The Lord is our Shepherd,” the page read, “Always watching over us and protecting us.”
I began to read the line and then purposefully skipped over the words “and protecting us.”
I wasn’t exactly sure why I skipped it, and if I had two bodies, ONE of me would have put her hands on her hips and turned her head to look at the other me in confusion. I kissed Darcy on her forehead and she ran out the door to the bus stop. I sat in silence for a couple of minutes, unsure of things.
The truth was I had become cynical when reading verses like, “The LORD will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life,” (Psalms 121:7).
Maybe it was the violent murder of my friend earlier this year.
Maybe it was my new habit of watching the nightly news.
Maybe it was the reminder of the Sandy Hook Massacre in my newsfeed.
Maybe it was the reality of life under this sun.
If it’s true that God protects us, what could that possibly mean? I actually typed the words into the google search engine. I took advantage of the silence and spent the next few minutes of the morning looking for answers.
Through Scripture and this old article from Christianity Today, my understanding of protection became clearer.
“The fact is, God cares more about our spiritual health than our physical health. Our bodies are going to die. Our souls are going to live forever. And God’s ability to protect our souls from eternal judgment and eternal death is more significant than his ability to protect our bodies from disease or death.”
What does it mean that God protects us? Well, it can’t possibly mean that he shields us from physical maladies, traffic accidents, or even the loss of a loved one. It can’t because we experience all those things, yet His Word is true. His protection must scan something wider.
I’m thankful for the whole of God’s Word that informs us how to think. Unclear passages (Like Psalms 91 and Psalms 121) should always be measured by clearer passages in Scripture. This is a helpful principle for understanding Scripture instead of becoming cynical about it.