Trauma is a terrible thing. It reaches deep into the resources of the soul and damages everything that it touches. Only now are we beginning to understand the effects of trauma as we help soldiers returning from war, but trauma isn’t something new. We have been battling trauma on the domestic front for years. Even though many lives have been destroyed by it, there is hope.
Hope for those traumatized can be provided by those whom they can trust. Please let me illustrate. This morning I woke up to the sound of rain. I looked next to the bed and sure enough, the Shepherd was under the chair. Our rescue had been traumatized by gun shots, being hit by a car and taunted by passers by as he remained tied to a fence with a broken hip. It doesn’t take much to trigger fears and even reenactments. So while he was terrified to go outside and do his morning business because of rain and the potential for thunder, I went out into the yard and called him to me. As he approached, I gave him the repeated rhythmic shsh, shsh, shsh, shsh, shshshshshshsh that I give to soothe him when he is overcome with anxiety. He recognized my call of caring and came next to me. He practically knocked me over to get close enough to feel safe.
Jesus provides the same type of care. He recognizes our fears and calls us to him. As we hear his voice and get close to him, he provides comfort and security. The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1b). In this verse, the Psalmist declares that the Lord is his defense or fortified place. He was that for him and he wants to be the same for you. Will you hear his call? Will you run to him for comfort and security? He is waiting and ready to aid you in your trauma.
What you think about a person affects how you interpret what they say. If you believe that somebody loves The Lord and they praise him for something, you are glad for them. If you don’t see them that way, you may view them as being fake. If you like somebody and they give you a compliment, you are grateful, but if you don’t like them, you may question what they are trying to get from you. If a person apologizes after hurting you, you may accept it as genuine, but if you view them in a negative manner, you could judge them as insincere. For each occasion, the words and actions that people do may be the same, but how you view the person before hand affects how you interpret those words and actions.
Our perspective of God determines how we interpret his word. If we believe him to be loving, then we see statements in his word as loving. If we see God as a strict judge, then we will continually interpret statements in his word as judgmental. When it comes to trials, people have varied views. Some view God as wanting us to be happy and that he will deliver us from all trials. Others see him differently.
The following verse can yield different interpretations. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (Psalms 121:7). Some will think this verse promises deliverance from the trials and troubles of life and some will not see that at all. What they believe about God will affect how they interpret it.
In this passage, God promises to preserve the soul of the believer from evil and not the person from evil. If this were true, then Paul and the other Apostles should never have experienced the trials that they faced in life and their subsequent martyrdom. However in the passage, God promises to hedge about the believer’s heart and keep the evil that he faces in life from overcoming his heart or soul. Trials and troubles will be in ever believer’s life, but what God promises to do for us as we face such circumstances is to hedge about our souls and keep them from being overcome by evil. God will remain faithful to us and provide the protection that our soul needs as well as an opportunity to escape (I Corinthians 10:13).