But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. Psalm 5: 11 – 12
On Saturday, we went to Cole’s 5th birthday party – a pool party with many of his friends from preschool. Cole was excited and all the kids had fun, but it was a little stressful for these grandparents. We were trying to keep our eyes on all of them and on Miles, who was in the “big” pool with his friends. It didn’t help that one parent reminded me that more drownings of children take place during birthday parties in the summer than at any other time! Hhmmm.
I would watch the little ones in the 2 to 3 ft pool for awhile, and then go over and watch Miles. I began to worry about how Kel does this several times a week and how she is able to keep her eyes on both of them every second.
Finally, I realized she does it just like I did and all other parents do. We trust that they are good swimmers, that they are being watched by competent life guards, and that they will be safe – and we still watch them as much as we can. They seem so vulnerable to so many dangerous situations, but of course, we know it’s impossible to keep them away from all harm. And as they grow older and experience new things, it will become even more so.
But gratefully, we know there is One who can watch over them. We can ask God and know with confidence that He will keep them in His care and “surround them with His favor as with a shield.” What a comforting thought, and how grateful we can be for His presence.
This verse in Psalms reminds us that God wants to “favor” those who diligently and faithfully seek Him. What an unusual word to describe His divine blessing and protection upon our lives. Interestingly, it is used 56 times in Scripture to denote His generous, preferential treatment for those who put their trust in Him and look to His presence for refuge and safety.
Because of our devotion, love, and faith in Him, not only does He give His protection, but He desires to give us little things, good things, to bring contentment and peace. And because He holds us in “the shadow of His wings”, David tells us that we have cause to “be glad, to sing for joy, and to rejoice in Him.” How often we fail to do so and just take His love, grace, and protection for granted.
But as beautiful as this verse is with all its wonderful promises of His care, we can’t help but wonder why a loving God would sometimes withdraw His divine favor and let “bad” things happen to our children, or to any of us. None of us can answer that.
We’ve heard it said that God must have had a “higher calling” for those individuals, but that doesn’t give us the answer we desire or need. We understand that God’s ways are not our ways and we know that things happen according to His will and plan. That is the difficult part of faith – believing and trusting during the painful times.
But I once read, that we may not see God intervene during these times, but how many times does He intervene and save us and our children from harm that we don’t even know about! And if we aren’t devoted to trusting in Him, would His protection be as great?
Again, we have no answers, but we can try to be faithful and hold on to Him. We can either go through these painful circumstances with Him or without Him, but can you even imagine not having His love, comfort and strength? Believe and trust in Him, we will.
How grateful we can be for a loving God who holds us in His hands, and may we always respond in kind with a lifetime of loving, worshiping, and praising Him.
Our most gracious God, thank you for your divine favor, protection, and love upon our lives and upon those we hold dear. May we always be aware of your grace and rejoice in your most holy name. Thank you for all the ways that you bring joy into our lives and keep us in your care. Amen