Tuesday, March 13, 2012
My backyard is shaped like a bowl and is surrounded by oaks, maples, birch, cedars, and a variety of other trees, vines, and shrubs. Once leafed out, the little forest becomes nearly impenetrable—like a wall. In winter, its “wall” has decayed and it becomes light enough to view resident and meandering critters. Much to my delight, even a bobcat strolled through the other day. How cool is that?
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
I live by a road that is bordered by both fields and forest. Along the fields, the road remains clear most of the time, open to the sun’s drying power. Where the forests encroach right up to the road like fortresses, however, the constant shade causes the road to be perpetually wet. The forests are like walls.
Walls serve two purposes: to keep enemies out and to keep families safe inside. Eventually, walls crumble with age and misuse or fall to the effects of flood, earthquake, or fire. Even the interior walls in our homes sometimes fall victim to someone’s rough play or anger.
There are emotional walls that can cause damage, too. For example, someone disappointed in love may avoid being hurt again by hardening their heart. Rejection of any kind can cause us to hide behind our self-made walls of resistance, avoidance, or blame. Self-pity, anger, and deceit are other walls we build around our fragile egos to keep out further emotional damage. The worst damage comes when we decide we can trust no one but ourselves.
The problem with building emotional walls is that it brings spiritual damage as well. How many Christians have left the church and perhaps even their faith because of something said or done that offends the ego? Sadly, such hurts can cause us to blame the church and God, Himself.
The sooner we realize that no one is perfect—not even ourselves—the sooner our destructive walls will fall. Only then can we see beyond the forests into the warm, healing sunlight of God’s perfect love and protection.
Nehemiah, governor of Israel’s remnant of Jews who returned to Jerusalem from captivity, first led them in repairing the temple. They followed that by rebuilding the broken walls around their city. As Christians, we are God’s temple. We’re told in the Bible to keep it in good spiritual condition, for it is God’s dwelling place. Once that’s in good order, He will help us knock down our emotional walls and then build necessary walls of the enemy’s resistance around us.
King David said, “You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake … pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength.” (Psalm 31:3-4) “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’” (Psalm 91:2)
Lord, we trust You to be our wall, our fortress, and willingly give up any emotional walls we’ve built that are hindering our walk with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.