Psalm 28:6-7 - Our Strength and Shield Hears
LORD = YAHWEH - the personal name of God occurring 5321 times in the Old Testament. . . the self-existent I AM of Exodus 3:14, who was and is and always will be, Rev 11:17).
I kneel in blessing to YAHWEH,
Because He has heard my prayer and petition for mercy.
YAHWEH is my Strength and my impenetrable Shield;
My heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am given material and nonmaterial encouragement;
Therefore my inner self rejoices jubilantly
And I will thank Him with a song.
"Rejoice jubilantly" because God spoke to me as I meditated on these verses!
Background: I have a person in my community that continually plays devil's advocate. We were doing discovery discussion on the Samaritan woman at the well, and he disagreed in my interpretation of what it meant to "worship God in spirit and in truth." My comment was based on going back to the original Greek and praying through and meditating on it. So, my conclusion was based on thorough study, and he shot holes in it.
I wanted to say how I had already thought through it and felt pretty confident in its meaning after careful study, but I sat there in silence, shut-down by his comment and thinking to myself, "There he goes again. Lord, give me extra grace. Accept that he is an intuitive thinker who processes everything out loud and appreciate that that is the way he rolls." But it still hurts!
We had three people like that (two ENTPs and one ENTJ), and now we are down to only him because the other two left the community (typical of NTs if they are bored or disagree with the process) at the end of the two previous breaks (something we encourage people to do if there is not a specific calling for the kind of work we are training people to do). All three are pretty clueless about how they crush community by their "devil's advocate" kind of comments. By far, this guy is the most mature of the three, but it is still somewhat crushing to always be the butt of the "devil's advocate" part of his personality. I tend to get that alot because I try to be open to feedback (because I really am a learner) and people often feel free to disagree with me, but it is hard when you know you have done your homework, and they assume that you have not and are speaking out of your ignorance. (Frankly, I do not think he did his homework and was speaking out of his, but I digress).
God's big protective shield came over me as He brought this deep, down hurt that I have nursed throughout this year of being in a group of non-encouragers. I must admit it is really wearing on me after six months of community living with them. Hebrews 10:24,25 people! Live it! I feel like I am constantly giving encouragement to them, and I am not getting any in return. Not the reason why I do it (I have to encourage because it is a part of my gifting and it comes out of me naturally), but it would be NICE now and then! Not gonna' lie! (Thank God I have other encouragers in my life!)
While He reminded me of the hurt during this meditation, He brought me what I needed. He spoke:
"I am your impenetrable Shield who will give you the encouragement you need."
This is an answer to prayer for encouragement. I cannot expect it to happen with this group. I will continue to pray that it does for their own growth (and especially for this guy because I do not think he really understands feeling people and might even think they are emotionally unstable based on his experience with his first wife). But, in the meantime, God is my impenetrable shield and all the encouragement I need. I believe He spoke to me in the hurt. YAY GOD!
So off to "jubilant song"
Parenthetically, Pieter was singing as he dusted two weeks ago, and when I asked him what he was singing, he said, "I am singing my praise to God because of all He has done." I think something very profound happened to him in the year he was away. Praise be to God! I think He has gotten a hold of his heart and Valentina's too!