We Are All Safe - "The Beloved of the Lord"
As parents, the Bible shows us how to address feelings of fear and concern for our loved ones – and for our fellowman?
At times, it can feel as if all the good in daily life is interrupted and distracted by accidents. Certainly, the news lately has included several devastating scenarios involving planes, trains, buses and people. One event has seemed to follow right on the heels of another, painting a dismaying picture of vulnerability and random victimization. As parents, how can we address feelings of fear and concern for our loved ones – and for our fellowman? Let's turn to a Bible verse for ideas:
"The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders" (Deut. 33:12).
First things first—we are all the "beloved of the Lord." No exceptions! And because of our immovable, irrevocable, eternal standing as "beloved," we are the receivers of the promises contained in this declaration. This statement assures us of God's presence, power and protection. He loves us, and we are constantly being cared for.
We "dwell in safety by him…." God is the source of our being and of our well-being. He keeps us safe. Even more, we dwell – live, reside, make our home – in safety, in the safety of the Almighty God. To dwell is to establish roots and stay put, to abide, live with, settle, AND rest securely. And the very cool part is that we can't move out or move away from this dwelling. It's permanent and eternal.
"And the Lord shall cover him all the day long…" God is right here, right now, always, and in all ways. God covers us, watches our back, guides our path, and leads us through the fog and the jungle as much as across the wide-open plain. "All the day long" suggests a full 24 hours – not just daylight hours. In other words, there's no time limit on God's love and tender care, nor can love and its attribute "care" be depleted or run out. Love and care are our natural covering, our natural environment, our natural habitat. One way to look at it is this: our home might change locations or interior decorations and furnishings, but regardless of how it looks or where it's located, it's always home. Just so, God covering His beloved child is a with-us-forever state of being no matter what's going on around us. Thus, an accident or a troubling situation may be the setting of our experience at some point, but right there, in the midst, is God, Love, tenderly covering us and caring for our needs.
"…(A)nd he shall dwell between his shoulders." Just imagine! Sitting between the shoulder blades of God. Riding on God's back, or on God's shoulders. Picture a child this way with his or her parent. We've all seen it; maybe we've been the parent; we might even remember being that child. The utter abandon the child feels – safe, secure, high above whatever is going on down below, able to see for miles, trusting the parent to keep him/her aloft, feeling so completely connected to the parent. Isn't that the way God inspires us to feel both as parents and as children? How can we doubt His constant presence, His power, or His protection? Simply stated, we can't!
One thing we CAN do is to strengthen our understanding of this "dwelling" idea. We can take time each day to acknowledge and to feel God's presence in our hearts and consciousness. By doing so, we are more able to see God's presence and power in our daily lives. If we're not feeling "connected" to God, we tend to miss the evidence of our safe dwelling place. We might not hear or be willing to follow God's guidance, which would either protect us from or lead us through any challenge or trouble—anything that appears to be an accident. We might miss the angels of His presence telling us "when to turn to the right hand and when to turn to the left" (Isa. 30:21). Dwelling with God, we "know the truth," and "the truth shall make (us) free" (John 8:32). We will be free from fear and anxiety that an accident (or trouble of any kind) could happen at any moment, and free from doubting God's ever-presence in all circumstances. God is with us, right here, now, constantly protecting and guiding us to know Him and trust Him to be a "very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).