Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Suit of Armor

We saw these suits of armor in El Alcazar in Segovia a couple of weekends ago. For some reason, this image of a real coat of armor was extremely profound to me, and it was much more than just a historical artifact. I attribute this to 2 things. First, being here in Spain by myself really raised my awareness of my own vulnerability, specifically as a woman. The guys could walk all over Spain and never have to worry about getting back to their apartment safely. They can go out to a discoteca with friends and never have to worry about a twisted man going after them. They can walk through the streets without guys whistling at them, or saying "Guapa chica!" as though they were an object to look at and covet. This vulnerability was really scary to me, especially when we were traveling in so many different places. Now that we're "at home" in Salamanca, it's a bit less scary, but there are still moments I wish that I could crawl into this armor and hide from all of the "bad guys" (literally...and figuratively).

This morning, I was really battling frustration and discouragement. I was thinking about how I just wanted to go somewhere away from all of the school drama, away from the exhaustion of this program- and the Lord brought this suit of armor to mind, and used it to show me a really beautiful picture. My fearful, faithless self wants to hide from the world. I want to use the armor to hide from the evil that I see, to shield my eyes from the orphans down the street, to block out the noise of hurting people, to forget about everything. But that is NOT what the Lord has for me, and it is not what He has for any believer. Instead, He has called us to PUT ON this armor and FIGHT.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, Ephesians 6:10-18

We are in a battle. I can really feel the battle right now where I'm at and it's hard. But He has not called us to hide in our armor. He has called us to stand firm, pray, keep alert.

The second part of the word picture the Lord gave me today was the image of a knight in shining armor coming to save us. That knight is Jesus. He is the perfect Warrior, and He has already been victorious over all. So when we are tired of the fight, when we are bruised and wounded, when we want to give up, we are promised that our fight is not in vain. For not a moment too late, Jesus is going to come again to fight for us. And when that time comes, we will be given the beautiful gift of perfect eternal rest in His arms. Is that not encouraging? Can I hear an amen? I know that I'm preaching to myself here in the middle of Spain, giving myself a "pep talk." But I know that I am not alone in this army, and I know that I am not the only one feeling weary. So dear brothers and sisters, stand firm with me. Take up your cross, whatever it is, and move forward one step at a time. In Christ Jesus, through His grace, and through His strength alone, may we be victorious. Amen.

Here's a poem I wrote after recieiving that encouragement from the Lord this morning:
Suit of Armor

I want to climb in that suit of armor,

It offers me safety, shelter, peace

I want to get away from this evil world

That threatens to crush a part of me

But we cannot hide from what’s broken

For on the cross Christ set us free

That I may live my life in total surrender,

Knowing He has a plan for me.

So I lift up my eyes to the heavens,

For His face alone will I seek.

As I give of myself to others,

Who have not this hope and this peace.

I await the Knight in shining armor,

To gather us close to His breast.

Where we’ll cease our striving and trying,

And be ushered into eternal rest.


1 comment:

byhislife10 said...

First off, I totally understand the vulnerability issue. Definitely have run into that here. There will be some story sharing when we get back.
Secondly, thanks once again for sharing. It was really encouraging to me. AND I LOVE THE POEM!!! Pretty sure its my fav of yours thus far. :)