"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
Years ago, hurtful words from a friend landed in a tender spot in my heart. It was already damaged by a previous incident with her ... and the one before that.
When this friend was frustrated or lost her temper, words just tumbled out. Words that went straight to my vulnerable places.
Each time she said she was sorry, and she meant it.
I knew we could work through it, but part of me wanted to give up on trusting her altogether. Why trust someone who might let you down again?
In fact, why trust at all? Why not just close my heart and keep it safe from any potential harm?
King David understood this struggle. In Psalm 28, David asks God for help. Many scholars believe that this was written at the end of David's life. At this point, he knows what it is to hide from words and actions that harm. He understands how it feels to be surrounded by people who say they are loyal to him, but sometimes let him down.
Even at this late stage, it may have been tempting to shut everyone out and never trust again ... not just the people who intentionally sought to harm him, but those who loved him and messed up. It might have even crossed his mind that he should trust no one at all.
Instead, in verse 7 we see David's thoughts and attitude change and find him singing a beautiful song to his Heavenly Father. In this place of hurt and uncertainty, he reveals a secret: He can trust because God is trustworthy.
With my friend, I found that same hope.
The Lord is our strength and shield.
Like a triple-plated silver shield, David needed God's protection for his heart. David may have wanted to isolate, but God had handwritten a plan for his life. People were an integral part of that blueprint.
The reality is that people are messy. My friend was a mess. Sometimes I'm a big ol' mess, too. The words my friend spoke hurt and we needed to work through it, but God's shield of protection allowed me to see the areas where He was still working in both of us. It also offered His truth to counterbalance hurtful words.
This shield allowed me to approach her from a place of resolution, rather than a place of offense or retaliation.
Our hearts trust in Him and He helps us.
We need wisdom to know what to say, when to say it and when to hold those words back. God offers that guidance (James 1:5).
We need discernment over what is ours to fix and when to step back as God does His part (Psalm 55:22).
We need to know what to do when someone is destructive or unwilling to change, and how to transfer our trust to God in that hard situation, rather than take matters into our own hands. We can ask for hope and healing in our hearts while God performs His work in someone else's heart.
Our hearts leap for joy, and with a song we praise Him.
Conflicts, difficult conversations or poor behavior can make you want to give up or shut people out completely. In David's case, trusting in God produced a strong foundation that led him out of seclusion and into a plan and a purpose.
Have you been tempted to climb into a cave of isolation?
Do you sense God asking you to trust again? Maybe not even in a specific person, but in Him? In others? In the fact that He's completely with you as you run after His plan for your life?
My friend is still my friend. She's changed a lot in the past few years, and it's delightful to have watched that transformation.
Is she perfect? No, but neither am I. We're two imperfect women whose hearts trust in God.
Dear Lord, someone has hurt my heart and my response has been to hide or build a wall. Thank You for wisdom, compassion and discernment as I trust in You first, and You show me how to trust others. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 37:4-5, "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." (ESV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When someone breaks our trust repeatedly, that can impact relationships that are innocent of wrongdoing. In essence, they pay a price for someone else's actions.
In your journal, write down the names of those closest to you who are innocent of wrongdoing but who are paying a price due to someone else's wrongdoing in your past. Ask God to help you trust again.
© 2014 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105