Our Pastor spoke these words during his Good Friday message and they have resonated with me since. There have been a few instances in my life when I felt like I was under attack.
At times, the attacker has been a visible enemy. I’ve had my reputation on the line when gossipers chose to spread their distorted version of events to anyone who would listen. I’ve been in “relationships” where my vulnerability was exploited. There have been a handful of times when a man has used his strength to control me. And yet, in each of these circumstances, God shielded me from ruin. No irreparable damage was done. I’ve been blessed with true friends & family whose opinion of me cannot be swayed by slander, who would never take advantage or lay a malicious hand on me.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.” (Psalm 138:7 ESV)
Then there have been times when my adversary was the one who specializes in the sneak attack, Satan. Here’s the thing about the onslaught of the devil, you don’t always realize that you are under siege, that is until it’s all said and done and you look back on the situation. That’s why the Bible warns us: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV) He is crafty and creeps in when your defenses are down. He will take advantage of your weaknesses, remind you of all your failures and convince you that you have no future. Even in these times, the Lord has prevailed, reminding me of who HE says I am.
But that’s not what struck me about this statement from Pastor. What stirred in my spirit was the profound truth that God protected me even in the moments when I didn’t know I needed it. And by that I mean, He protected me from myself. If there has ever been someone I could accuse of singlehandedly attempting to destroy my life, it would be me. I have belittled myself. I’ve made insanely bad choices. I’ve sabotaged perfectly healthy relationships in favor of the not-so-healthy variety. I’ve hidden my need for help from loved ones and ran hard & fast from God. And yet, I am still here. Still loved by God. Forgiven of all the crappy mistakes I’ve made and welcomed back with eagerness into His loving arms. He has saved me from ruin.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10 NIV)
“The Lord protected me when I was under attack.”