Recently I found myself in a situation that had caused great pain in the past. Though God had brought healing in that area and things are different now, past memories still lurked like ghosts in the background of my mind. From time to time one would sneak up and yell “Boo” and I’d have to fight the urge to wallow in hurts from long ago. Despite these occasional setbacks, I felt I’d come a long way and was doing fine. But, while still amidst the situation, the Lord asked me, “Are you willing to lower your shields?
For those of you who aren’t Star Trek fans, shields protect your ship. When the protective shields are turned on, your ship can defend itself against attacks. When the ship isn’t being threatened—which is most of the time—they are deactivated—and you are unguarded against a sneak attack.
The good thing about the “shields” is they protect you from hurt or harm. The bad thing is, if there is no threat, they keep you in a heightened defensive posture. This means you are looking for things that can hurt you even though there isn’t any current reason to be on alert. Everything is filtered through an I’m-going-to-be-(hurt, humiliated, abandoned, fearful) grid. Consequently, you may lash out at someone (i.e. your spouse, children, relative, or friend) over an innocent comment or action. You’re still hypersensitive even though you thought your sensitivity was over.
Apparently, I was still approaching this situation in a guarded and protective way. I didn’t realize I was worrying about things that would never happen again. The Bible says to trust in the Lord with all your heart and if you depend on God and not yourself, He will direct your paths.1 In other words, when I lower my shields, God’s shield protects me—which is far better.
He is not calling us to reckless vulnerability—trusting where common sense or godly wisdom would recommend otherwise. But I believe God was telling me that where people or situations have changed, I need to accept that. Then, with God’s help, I can trust Him and relax enough to lower my shields.
1see Proverbs 3:5-6