Saturday, February 28, 2015

Smitten by the Moon

skogsky moonlight image

Skogsoy moonlight.JPG

"The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night."              - Psalm 121:5-6, NAS

It’s not difficult to experience smiting by the sun. All you have to do is expose your skin to it for long enough. As a child of the “B.S” days (before sunblock), I have memories of several sunburns. They were miserable. I remember not being able to cool down. Every move was painful, and every touch excruciating. There was no quick cure; I just had to wait it out until I healed.

But the light of the moon doesn’t usually strike me as a “smiter.” In contrast, the light of the moon is rather calming. It’s a soft light; a light that drapes itself gently. It seems more like a blanket than a bludgeon.

That is, unless I have a migraine headache. When those hit, any sliver of light is like a piercing sword. Even the light of the moon, with only soft edges and a normally tender touch, cuts like a knife.

Why? Because my body is weak and hypersensitive. Even that tiny amount of soft light, which on a normal day wouldn’t bother me at all, is intolerable. And when those headaches hit, I can’t keep light from causing pain. All I can do is shield my eyes from it.

That’s what God does so often when we are weak from struggling. As we stumble, weary from battle and helpless to numb the pain from things that normally do not smite, He shades us. It doesn’t matter to Him that on better days we would brush off what now would bring us to our knees. He doesn’t hesitate for a second to use the same hand that the wind and waves obey to block a tiny, insignificant sliver of light.

What matters to Him is that the perfect thing to do in that moment is to protect us from what we can’t fight. He shields us from the smiter. When we need a respite from a slice of pain, no matter how thin, He shelters us from it.
It’s not that we never feel pain. As we walk through this fallen world, many times pain is part of the journey. In those times He is our only hope in the midst of agony.

But more times than we know, He shelters us. Even if it’s something that “shouldn’t” hurt us. When even the pain caused by moonlight would do us in, He doesn’t let it reach us.

It gives me great comfort to know that, when I am so weak even the moon burns, He will shade me…and I may never be aware of the cover of His hand. If He blocks the burn of the light, I don’t feel it. And, as a friend of mine always says, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

But what I do know is the comfort of that shelter. In His shadow, away from the battle, I heal. And in healing, there is victory. And in that victory I raise my head to face another day…despite the smiter.

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