Psa. 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
so that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
you cover them with favor as with a shield.
The Psalmist seems to understand the deep need to be connected to God. The idea of participating in God becomes a part of this Psalm. As we take refuge in God, we are united with him. God’s protection spreads over those who are deeply in love with him and they exude with that overwhelming sense of passion for the Lord, exulting in him. The protection comes from those who are crowned as children of the kingdom. The crown itself becomes a shield of protection as the vision of the eternal supersedes the present.
David boasts in his love for God, which is of far greater importance than love for the things of this world — riches, power, or luxury. Jerome reminds us that this love and honor is “not interrupted by disease, by old age, by the pressures of affairs, by variety of seasons, by death itself.” We are blessed for we are in him.
This week has been a time of blessing as I look upon the lives of the students who come across our campus. It is my reminder of the eternal for the investment in those who will come after us is a way in which to participate in God’s eternal nature. We participate together and pass along what we have to those who will continue to share in these truths.
I sit with the students who have just returned from nine months abroad and they share in the richness of their experience. They are not the same individuals who were sent out from this place last January. They have grown in their walk with Jesus Christ and return transformed, passing along the excitement of feeling blessed in knowing God. In wonder those who are awaiting their placements listen and try to grasp what their own personal experience will bring. And yet, it’s all connected to being in Christ and experiencing the call when covered with his shield.
In another room the Doctoral students have gathered and are wrestling with projects which will speak into and transform the very places in which they are serving. The communities are diverse, rural, urban, North American, Middle-Eastern, hospital, church, and educational. Hours are spent in prayer and allowing God to shape and form the way in which they are to minister and all of a sudden we, too, discover that we are connected in Christ. Together we participate in him and the experience becomes transformational for the entire community as we have the privilege of participating with those who will go places where we will never go.
This fills my heart to overflowing and makes me want to sing for joy.
Lord, I thank you for the incredible privilege that I have to be with those who are passionate about you. Amen.