20 Feb Securely Hemmed In
Stay ‘hemmed in’ as you move through life.
Remain and abide in the Lord. He will guard you and keep you.
The English language is sometimes so limiting. When we speak of protection or guarding we often have only one image in mind. In the Hebrew language there are at least three words used to convey this concept of protection. One of these words in the Old Testament is “shamar”. This can be translated into “to keep”, “to guard,” or to “watch over”. We find it in Psalm 121 where we see that His attention over us never strays and it protects us. The image is that of being surrounded by the Lord like a hem of garment that protects the rest of the garment from fraying. A hem is important in a garment, it seals it and keeps it from getting destroyed. I love that picture, it’s so beautiful.
The dictionary has as one of its definitions of hemmed in as “to enclose or confine usually followed by around, or about”. What a beautiful picture of God enclosing us in His embrace.
Psalm 139:5 says: “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” His hand of salvation is upon and He is with us. He promises to never leave or forsake us. He guards us through the helmet of salvation and helps us order our thoughts. His Word and presence comfort us when we are distressed. We know that in this world we will have troubles, but there is rest knowing that we are not alone. God’s presence is there to lead us, to lift us up to, protect us and to restore us.
In response to God’s protection, we are called to guard our hearts and keep them engaged with the Lord. It’s a two-fold process. We are the garment and the Lord is the stitching. Keep your heart for out of it flows all the issues of life. (See Prov 4:23). We are not to be lax with regards to our heart. We protect it by guarding what we see, hear and what we allow to penetrate.
Lately, our family has been grieving and processing a difficult season in many areas. But, there is one thing that I can say for sure and that is that the Holy Spirit comforts us and settles our hearts in a very real and tangible way. The ‘stitching’ of the Lord keeps us and in that I find rest.
I am thankful that the Lord is guarding us during our trials, our failures and even in our moments of despair. He doesn’t leave us helpless. He lifts us out of the pit. Keep yourself hemmed in today by responding well to His watching over your life and that of your loved ones.
Celtic prayer of protection:
Christ before me
Christ within me
Christ above me
Christ below me
Christ behind me
Christ to the right of me
Christ to the left of me