Tag: Covid 19

My Shield and Buckler!

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With Covid-19 we have been watching a LOT of TV.

How about you?

 

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At one point a while back, we committed to watching all of the Marvel Avenger movies and TV series in chronological order.  And WOW!  Is that ever a LOT of TV!

If you’re familiar with Captain America, you’ve seen the round shield that he holds and flings and defends himself with.

Last week I was praying Psalm 35 in the New King James version – not my regular NIV or NASB, and noticed the title of this Psalm of David is The Lord the Avenger of His People.  Interesting since we are in the middle of watching the Avenger movies.

I have asked God many times to contend with those who contend with me and fight against those who fight against me.  Meaning, as Ephesians tells me, that my fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this present darkness and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  So it is a spiritual battle.

I have prayed the second verse many times too, but this time when I read and asked for the Lord to Take hold of shield and buckler and stand up for my help, I stopped to wonder what is a buckler?  And what’s the difference between a shield and buckler?

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When Paul was in prison and wrote about spiritual warfare, he was seeing the large shields the Roman Guard used. When they marched into battle the shields gave them head to toe and side to side coverage.  The heavy shields were thick and could repel lances, spears, and an onslaught of artillery. And they would fit together with other warriors’ shields forming a veritable wall which they could rest or advance behind.

So that’s what I picture when I read and pray scripture.  But in trying to understand more I see that the word buckler is a different kind of shield.  It’s more of the Captain America type.

super-hero-1132272_640It is a smaller handheld round shield, for lack of a better word, that can repel slings and arrows and be used for more close personal combat.  A buckler is worn on the forearm and gives the wearer the flexibility of engaging in hand and combat.

It creates a very different picture in my mind of how God defends me – not standing tall behind a shield and dispensing perfectly targeted shots – but beside me or standing back to back with me, fighting up close and personal, hand to hand.  I’ve got to say, it’s an exciting way to envision it!

Now I know God is all powerful, and is far greater than I can picture or even imagine.  He far exceeds a Roman soldier or Captain America.

But going deeper into His Word, investigating the Hebrew and Greek languages, understanding the context of scripture is enlightening and exciting!

book light on girlAs I am investigating more, there may be another layer of understanding.  I looked up the word in English to get a better picture.  But there are also 2 Hebrew words that seem to add an additional element to yield even more understanding of shield and buckler.

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Try looking up a word in a scripture you like.  Investigate the original word that was used before translation.  See if that sheds any light on your understanding.

It’s one major way God speaks!

Do not be anxious…

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

This is an unprecedented time in our country and in the world.  With the pandemic spread of the Coronavirus and the self-quarantining of social distancing, business and school and church closures and resources being hoarded, and the uncertainty that comes with all of it, it’s not surprising that people are at a bit of a loss to know how to cope.

These are real worries that affect each one of us personally and differently.  And we may be left with intellectual and emotional responses that are not helpful in dealing with the issues that confront us.

Some things have helped me find a peace that is sustaining me through all this.  So although I have no magic solution I can share those things I have heard others say that have helped me.

Pray – for people, for leaders, for healing from this disease, for medical, physical and financial needs to be met, for people to turn to God in the midst of this crisis

Balance – the time you spend listening to the news with time spent listening to God – through listening for His Voice in prayer and reading His Word

Make – 3 personal connections each day through a phone call, a text, face time, an email or a written letter, to overcome the sense of isolation that social distancing brings for you and for others you know who may not have the human contact they need.

Practice – the personal hygiene suggestions on the CDC website and do some extra cleaning of your own home.  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

If you need prayer, reply here to me, or call 1-877-247-2426 at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, or contact your local church.

For further encouragement online go to www.billygraham.org

And join me in this prayer…

Father in heaven, thank You for today being set apart to pray for the world as we face coronavirus which has circled the globe.  People we know and people in countries we have never even heard of are dealing with this illness in many ways.

We lift up those who are sick and ask that You would be their Healer.  Whether they can get to a doctor or not, strengthen them and their immune systems to fight this virus in their bodies.  Fight for them when they cannot.  Give them the rest and nourishment they need to survive.  Let them draw strength from You.  And bring people alongside them to help them with their needs.

We pray for caregivers – whether doctors, nurses, family members or friends and neighbors who are helping the sick.  Father give them the energy and stamina they need to help in whatever ways they can.  Protect them from getting sick too.  Give them patience and a sense of humor when they need it to meet the needs of those around them who are ill.  Let them draw strength from You.

We pray for those who are still working, whose jobs are impacted by this outbreak.  Many will have lost wages and be facing financial hardship even though they may not be sick.  Those living from paycheck to paycheck will have difficult decisions to make.

Father, open opportunities for them to earn money in other ways to meet their financial needs.  Let them receive grace to delay payments on rent and bills until work picks back up.  Provide for their needs through the generosity of the communities around them.  Ensure they have the food and care they need to survive this hardship.

We pray for leaders in positions of authority in local, state, national and world arenas to receive godly counsel in making decisions. Father, give those called to address this crisis, whether medical or political, wisdom and compassion.  Let them draw strength from You.

Lord, show each one of us how to best function in this time of “social distancing.”  Lead us in a time of spiritual growth and maturity, reading Your Word, praying, listening for Your leading, helping others.

Father, turn the tide of this epidemic.  Halt its progress.  Release a wave of healing that circles the globe.

We turn to You.  Our Healer.  Our Savior.

Amen