I love you, Oh Lord my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shieldand the hornof my salvation, my stronghold – Psalm 18
There is a picturesque fortress in my homeland of Scotland–Eilean Donan Castle. It is resplendent with highland mountains framing the background and a stone walled bridge to its entrance. The castle is truly thought provoking and inspires images of ancient Scottish warriors combating Viking marauders. The castle has enthused many a Hollywood director to include it as the backdrop to their films–Most notably the movie Highlander, in which the Clan McCloud can be seen entering the castle after a victorious battle.
A solitary photograph of this castle sits in my room. My mother framed it for me. When I look upon it, I think of God and this verse from Psalm 18:
I Love you oh Lord my Strength, the Lord is my Rock, My Fortress and my Deliver.
When disaster strikes, to which fortress do you turn to for security? Is it automatically to manmade remedies? I have watched my mother continually vomit wrongly diagnosed antibiotics only to be eventually cured, through perseverance, and thus waiting for her own immune system to overcome the invading antigen that has caused her illness. Our own body serves as a fortress against foreign intruders, if, however, we give it some time for the fight to conclude.
Yet relying solely on our own body is not enough when invasion escalates or occurs in a different form. Some people turn to money as their stronghold, saving up in bank accounts hoping this will defend them against famine, disease, or boredom. Yet whilst serving as a palliative nurse, I have witnessed so many wealthy people die no different than the poor. Their wealth meant nothing in the end. Hoarding it was pointless, for it could not defend them from death.
Some people turn to fitness and health as their castle. I personally have spent long hours pushing iron in military and civilian gymnasiums. Yet no matter how much I lift or how much I push, the slightest tear to the fibres of my sinew and I am incapacitated. One tiny inflammation to a shoulder or an arm, a microscopic injury, and the fortress of my body is rendered useless. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Fearfully, meaning that I am not a fortress, for I am actually very fragile. All humans are.
All of the fortresses we seek outside of God are worthless. They have no defence against anything. There is only one rock, one deliverer, one fortress. When disaster strikes, and all our defences crumble, you find many humans at this point (and only at this point) turn to God. They cry “Lord help me” when they have no other ‘deliverer’. Once delivered, like the nine lepers healed by Jesus, they forget that it was God who rescued them.
Practice nurturing your relationship with God ALL the time. Like the Apostle Paul learned- be content with God during the good and bad:through prayer (hours not minutes), through the Bible (chapters not paragraphs), and by helping others (with your hands not money). In doing so, when disaster strikes, you will find you already have a fortress to dwell in. He will deliver you and be your strength and your shield and the horn of your salvation.