When I was younger, I slipped and fell while taking my dog for a walk. I remember the pain as the gravel and pavement sliced through my knee. I got up and limped my way back home. There, my mom helped dig out the gravel, clean the wound and bandaged up my knee. My knee doesn’t hurt anymore, but you can still see where the hurt happened. I have a scar. I can wear long pants and no one will ever know I have this scar.
I have other scars. But, unlike the scar on my knee, those scars aren’t the result of my own carelessness. They are the result of others’ carelessness. The ex-boyfriend that said, “I don’t love you anymore.” The best friend that said, “I told you so.” The high school teacher that called me a consistent failure. Each one sliced deep, caused pain. And left a scar on my heart.
In her new book, Uninvited Lysa TerKeurst says, “Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.” (TerKeurst, 8) With each new rejection, I hear: “Jenny, see I told you so.” “I don’t love you.” “You are a failure.” All it takes is another rejection to open up my scars. I feel the pain and believe the worst all over again.
I try to cover up my heart scars, but it’s not as easy as pulling on a long pair of pants. I try to cover up the hurt with a smile and a positive attitude, a busy schedule, and achievements. But these only temporarily distract me from the pain.
I don’t need a cover-up. I need a covering.
He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:4 NKJV)
His truth shall be my shield. I can hold God’s truth up like a shield over my heart. I can choose to believe what He says about me and not allow others’ carelessness to harm my heart. Where others have told me, “I don’t love you anymore,” God’s truth tells me, “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you” (Isaiah 54:10a). “You are a failure,” is replaced with God’s truth, “For the righteous falls seven times and rises again” (Proverbs 24:16a).
It is tempting to just cover up the scars, put on the long pants, and go on like everything is fine. But God offers us more than just a temporary distraction from the pain. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). His words offer promises of love, life, peace, and acceptance. His promises are forever.
My boys can be a little rowdy at bedtime. I’m ready to cover them up, but they just won’t be still! In the same way, our Heavenly Father is ready to cover us with love and truth. But we have to be still first. Will you be still and ask Him to cover you? Let His truth be your shield. Believe what He has to say about you, because He is crazy about you!
Thank You that Your truth is our shield. You love for us is beyond our understanding (Ephesians 3:19). You have called us by name (Isaiah 43:1). We no longer have to believe the worst that has been said to us. Help us believe what You say to us through Your Word. You have promised to build us up, not tear us down (Jeremiah 24:6).