Feeling Fragile

And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand! Then I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.” And behold, the angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him and said to him, “Run, say to that young man, ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” (Zechariah 2:1-5 ESV).

Receiving packages in the mail is one of life’s little pleasures. You’ve placed your order and the day of delivery has arrived. You see the carrier drive up and politely wait, showing some dignity befitting someone of an adult age even though you feel like a three-year-old on Christmas morning; and, you open your door and there on your porch the package sits, crushed and mangled beyond recognition. It is broken and ruined. We’ve all been there both literally and emotionally in our lives. There are simply some days when we wake up feeling fragile and expecting to be broken by some yet unrevealed disappointment. The word is “vulnerable.” It’s often vague. No single threat. No one weakness. Just an amorphous sense that something is going to go wrong and I will be responsible. It’s usually after a lot of criticism. Lots of expectations that have deadlines and that seem too big and too many. By the way, according to research the number reason why packages marked fragile are damaged is: “Packaged in an old box.” Well, that’s no help for me. I am an “old box!”

As I look back over the many years, I am amazed how the Lord Jesus has preserved my life. There is always both a compelling temptation to run away and an exhilaration concerning the responsibilities of life. The only way I have ever overcome the temptation to run away is reviewing the “I wills” and the “I shalls” of God. It is through those Scriptures that God has always answered my fears with concrete promises.”

Today’s reading is one of those passages. After having my life broken and left in pieces recently I was reading in Zechariah as this promise jumped off the page for me: “I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord” (v. 5).  If it is true for the vulnerable villages of Jerusalem, it is true for me, a child of God. God will be “a wall of fire all around” me. And it gets better. Inside that fiery wall of protection he says, “And I will be the glory in her midst.” God is never content to give us the protection of his fire; he will give us the pleasure of his presence. It is so typical of God. He has consistently rescued me with concrete promises. This time he said, “I will be to her a wall of fire all around” and “I will be the glory in her midst.” Cry out to him. Then ransack the Bible for his appointed promise. We are fragile. But he is not. No matter how old your box is, God is new every morning!