Wednesday – July 30, 2014; Ephesians 6:10-18
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
I had to give up cable TV last year in order to save some money…so instead I watch a lot of Netflix…mostly catching up on all episodes of shows I used to watch, and some I never had time for, as I was busy most evenings with my daughter, church work, or my recovery group.
Recently, I have been watching a lot of the old Star Trek series, and I like that the ships in these shows have a force-field shield to protect them when they are attacked by enemy ships, causing the shots fired to bounce off into space and giving the Star Fleet ships an advantage in any battle…unless of course the other ships have these shields too…
Watching these shows, I found myself wishing I could have a shield like that to wrap around my daughter to protect her from the many challenges and dangers that life can throw in her way; to ensure that she will always be safe, and that she will never suffer any of the negative consequences of bad decisions: mine, her own, or those of the people she associates with.
Surrounded by such a force-field my daughter would be sealed in a protective bubble and kept safe from any trouble, sadness or hardship…and her life would be bliss; however, life does not work this way, as our children cannot be watched and protected 24/7…and thinking about it, even if I could keep her vacuum sealed inside of a force-field it probably would not be all that good for her any way!
As single parents, we have learned first-hand that life can give us many memories as well as scars, and these have taught us valuable lessons which have helped to shape us (we hope) into better people, or at least into wiser people, as sometimes it appears that we do our best learning only on ‘anvils of experience’.
Knowing all this to be true, it is still difficult to let go and allow my daughter to make her own mistakes, especially since some are the same mistakes I made, and I have an idea of how much pain they have caused her. It is probably this way for all parents, but as a single father, I feel very responsible for her well-being and safety, as I have always been the one to take care of her: from cuts and bruises gained on the playground, sitting with her when sick, to rushing her to the ER when she over-did things…and picking her up from the Police Station when she over-stepped their boundaries.
It can be frustrating to feel powerless to save our children from trouble, even if it was due to their own poor judgment or thoughtlessness…however, there is good news in today’s reading: we ARE all surrounded by a shield of protection, the shield of God’s love and righteousness!!
Living in the light of the risen Christ, we are protected by his presence in our lives, and the grace of God that rains down upon us and fills our world with hope. The armor of God can keep us strong and secure when we are overcome with worry, and can give support and protection to our children, when they are facing the many challenges and pains of life; this armor can see us through any trial…even when the worst happens…as this is the shield of our faith in God, and faith in the truth that we are all God’s children and that it is never God’s will that we should know pain or trouble in our lives.
Just like we want to always keep our children safe, and are troubled when they we cannot, I like to believe that God also wants to keep us safe and happy at all times, and weeps with us when life does not go our way…when misfortune strikes, or tragedy occurs!
Immersed in God’s grace we are all covered by the armor of God which includes the love and faith that we share with each other, which enables us to show support and compassion for each other…to act as Christ to each other when in need, helping each other to face the many challenges of life, and also to join together in praise and celebration when the trials pass and we see that life is good most of the time after all!
Let us Pray:
God, thank you for covering us with the armor of your love, and the faith that we share with each other. Help us to show love and support for each other and our children as we face the many struggles of life, ensuring that no matter what the trial that we do not feel alone or lost, but protected and supported by the faith we share together.