“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.” (Psalm 5:11)
“Spread your protection over them”
Sure doesn’t seem like that sometimes. If God is protecting me then why do I still have to endure suffering? If God is protecting me why do I still get sick? Why do we go through financial difficulties? Why do certain things happen in my life that cause heart-breaking anxiety?
Sometimes I don’t feel protected. Granted it could be that God is protecting me and I just don’t see it. I am certain that happens at times.
But seriously, God seems to have no problem rocking my life every so often. From all appearances he is not protecting me from suffering. Rather than spreading protection over me it feels like he is tearing me into pieces.
I wonder, though, is it possible that maybe those two things aren’t polar opposites. Is it possible that the activity of God in tearing me to pieces (Hosea 6) is actually the means that he is using to spread his protection over me?
The truth is that I’m too short-sighted to know my real enemies. Sickness, financial difficulty, and anxiety may be God protecting me from the enemy of self-sufficiency and self-reliance; which are far more deadly than any physical calamity. What good would it be for me to gain the whole world (protected from all calamity) and yet lose my soul?
Perhaps the greatest part of God’s protecting ministry is to protect us from our own foolish hearts and soul-damning idolatry. God is absolutely committed to me. He has said he will protect me even if that means painfully ripping idols out of my heart and life.