We continue the series of what love is and what love is not! By now we have explored that love is communication and that love is not pride!
Love is also protection! When we love, we feel to protect the other party as our Lord keeps protecting each one of us. We desire for the other person to be happy, joyful, living in “green pastures”, a life well lived with joy, respect, dignity and full of physical, emotional, spiritual health.
The Lord loves us in a way of becoming our shelter; He is our safe place, our security, our stability and our shield. Each one of the above descriptions is about protection. I highlight what I just said: “the Lord loves us IN A WAY…” It is inevitable not to observe that someone protects you. Protection is not only in the natural world, such as, protection from physical harm. Protection expands to our emotional world, making sure that we are well, respected, well treated. People make sure that they do not physically abuse others, nevertheless many do harm through their behaviour, their tongue, by trying to exploit or manipulate others. They consider their selves no abusers the moment that they are one of the worse cases.
The Lord is the definition of love and that’s why I start with Him. He is the measure, the comparison to understand love as protection. When there is protection, when we know that we are protected, we can relax, we can rest, be in quiet resting places.
“My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,”
“But the LORD will be a shelter for His people,
“The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”
“You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.”
I have so many testimonies of how the Lord kept me safe, protected, bringing stability in my life and truly feeling that I had a shield upon me. All those stories will be in my next book. Today, I wish to write down one very recent experience I had.
It was about a month ago when I woke up as usual early in the morning and just before 6am I went out to remove the padlock that keeps the little door of the gate locked so the gardener to enter in. When I reached to unlock the padlock, I noticed that there was …no padlock! I was surprised and started looking around on the ground where it could have been. I thought that I forgot to lock the previous night or as I was sliding the gate, it fell down. Kept looking around for a while but no sign of it. Suddenly, as I turned my head towards my left shoulder, I noticed something strange about the steel door of the little storeroom. I walked closer and I saw that somebody had tried to open the door but had failed. They had tried so hard to the point that the door was crooked and the key could not open it. Instantly, I understood that thieves came in during the night. Not a second passed by and my eye turned at the borehole location and then I saw it: all piping from inside the borehole were laying on the ground. I got it: they stole the pump! Next, my sight went straight at my vehicle. The car was open – I left it like this the previous day – windows open, my MP3 inside and some spanners…nothing was touched.
At first, I got upset and sad…especially thinking the finance implication of it. It was not a kind of fear. I would never allow myself to become intimidated or panicked. At that moment, the gardener came and he noticed naked footprints all around, starting at the gate reaching the vehicle and my house door! My garden boots had gone as well. I spoke a bit with Bupe and went in the house, bathing and getting ready to go out. I would normally have gone to the police but only the thought of spending at least three hours in the police station reporting, gave me the clear picture of I was not going to report anything!
In about an hour my whole perception changed and joy came back into my heart! The upsetting mood and sadness left me when suddenly I realized that I never heard the thieves. I am convinced that they made quite some noise by braking the locks of the gate door and the one for the pump, especially when they bent the whole steel door of the store room. In addition, my car had not been touched nor the loose items inside it, the garden chair was still there, I was alive and not traumatised in any way. Imagine if I had woken up and look out of the window seeing strange people into my property…I don’t think that I could easily forget it. Imagine if they had come into the house…
What I felt at that moment was thankfulness and heavily protected. Yes, something bad had happened. At the same time, I was fully protected, safe and my dwelling was secure. This amazing peace and joy returned inside me and I felt His shield fully covering me, defending me!
The end of the story? The thieves – it seems – kept coming each night trying to cross the gate again, we saw their naked footprints outside my gate but this time strong sophisticated padlocks were in place, plus a rapid response alarm! One of my neighbours was equally victimised as his pump was stolen few days just before my incident but he kept an eye of what’s happening. Few days later, he got them into his property and they ended up in the prison! I felt sorry for them – I heard that they were badly beaten – as I know Zambian prison very well but what else could have happened?
I am truly thankful and grateful to my Father in Heavens for protecting my emotions, my body and my spirit from any true harm. Financially, there was provision to replace the damages and cover security fees. No complains! The same night I went to my bed (before fixing the pump or security) with the absolute security that I could sleep peacefully as I had Him looking after me.
Is it not a wonderful feeling? Oh, yes, it is!
That’s how we need to express love towards to others. Our love will be in a way that provides the same confidence that we have in the Lord. Our love will materialize as our protection for others in a way that helps them to relax and not get stressed, manipulated and obliged. Can you see the difference?
We use to provide assistance or protection or services to others whom we love but then we try to get something out of them as an indication of appreciation or because we think that they ought to and so forth. I do not believe that this is love. Yes, we need to be appreciated but it is not the end of the world if we are not! We probably won’t be very motivated to do something soon for that person but it is OK. If they do not feel that we show love, they might never understand it in any case or in any event! We need to move around, to act and go on living with love and mostly with wisdom. What we call love could become an abuse if it is not applied with wisdom. Love is not an act or feeling that can be truly described as a picture but it can be painted through acts and deeds.
“Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times”
It is very much about wisdom; wisdom is a whole subject by itself. What I really desire to emphasize is that we truly need God’s wisdom in our life to know how to practice and give love without hurting others.
It is also time not to take anything or anyone for granted but recognise the great provision in our life and that He is our hiding place!
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