Thursday, May 7, 2020. Humans are living in a natural environment which can be both seen as ideal setup for humans to live as well as partly hostile and threatening. We find air to breathe, water to drink and crops to eat. But at the same time there is heat and cold, there are storms, there is tides and wild animals can cause a threat as well.
Humans and human societies are tools to help to protect humans. We live together, be build communities and societies. Much of this is natural coming from the way human reproduction works. Father and mother get children, and they build a unit to nurture such a child and protect it from threats. They provide food and shelter to it. Grandparents as well as brothers and sisters provide a template for community, for different roles and levels of relations.
Where does protection come from …
Human societies and other humans in general can also be a threat. This includes those in your own family - domestic violence is a topic which is very important even in todays 'modern' societies. We all know that nations can rise against each other, that different cultural development, the competition for ressources, shortage of either food or land or supply of various goods can lead to conflict and violence.
Protection plays an important role in politics. Security within some state or region is a topic as well as security on an international or even global scale. The world community tries to generate a system where war is avoided, where mechanisms are installed to mitigate conflicts and find acceptable solutions.
Protection can also be a topic in your immeditate work environment. Are you save and protected with respect to hostile behaviour of your customers, of your colleagues, of your line manager? Usually, in public service there is a duty of line managers to care for their people, to make sure, they are well protected and can nurish with their particular strength and talents. But often that does work only partly, sometimes it does not work at all.
God's protection …
Protection is important in our relationship to God. We search for protection, when we come to him, when we approach him. The Psalms, the songs of the Old Testament, take up this topic of protection again and again. In Psalm 94 the author writes about the role of God for his protection:
22 But the Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge. (Psalm 94, 22)
Protection is characterizing the relationship of the believer to God. It is one of the important characterizing features of this relationship. God is the creator, he is the beginning, he is the strong one, he is the protector. The bible is full of stories where people of faith experienced the protection of the Lord, the almighty.
Of course, God can also fight against you. The bible is also full of stories where people, who thought of themselves as people of faith, experienced the strong hand of God. Often, this was experienced through other people, in war and excile. God's protection is connected to a life which stays in faith. Faith is not only some abstract believe, but a life which is dedicated to learn from him and follow him.
When we want to experience God as the protector, we should start to search his mercy, his truth, his love, his patience, his presence, his humility, his fidelity. All this we get in and through Jesus. (Roland Potthast)