Proverbs 2:7-8 says, “He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him.” The Psalmists sings in Psalm 16 my fortress18:2, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress…” Most scholars agree that the metaphors of a shield and a fortress speak to us of God’s protection. I would not normally think of my pains in life as God’s shield or His fortress that serves to protect me from harm, but that seems to be the case. The word for fortress is the same word for “Masada.” That’s the place that David would run to in order to escape his enemies who intended him harm. It was the place of protection into which no evil could penetrate.

God uses pain in my life to direct me, to inspect me, to correct me and often He even uses pain in my life to protect me. Our pains often drive us to the rock, the shield and the fortress of God’s protection. One website regarding the purpose of pain says, “The first thing to remember is that pain is the body’s natural response under various conditions. When the brain believes it has encountered a threat to the tissues, it creates a feeling of pain in order to get the person to stop that activity. For instance, if there was no pain when touching a fire or hot surface, this would not mean that the tissues are not being damaged. In fact, the damage would continue, but without pain, the person may just allow the damage to completely destroy the skin and other tissues. Pain gets us moving away from what the brain perceives as dangers to our health and well-being.” But pain is more complex than that. It not only drives us away from the situation it drives us to the source for healing.

Max Lucado quotes John Trent and Gary Smalley (A Dad’s Blessing) regarding the protection of God. They write, “What does a child say when he is face to face with the neighborhood bully? ‘My brother is bigger than your brother.’ ‘My dad is stronger than your dad.’ Then adults get into the act. A bumper sticker sighted on a Los Angeles freeway read, ‘My lawyer is better than your lawyer.’ What does a three-year-old do when he gets a knot in his shoelaces? He runs to Daddy. What does a five-year-old girl do when she falls and skins her knee? She cries to Mommy for comfort. When faced with a problem, danger, difficulty or sadness, we naturally go to someone who is bigger, stronger, and more powerful. Just as a child wants to crawl up on Daddy’s lap or have Mommy’s arms wrapped around him, so we go to our heavenly Father. He is the fortress that protects us from attack, the refuge that grants us asylum from persecution, the safe harbor that shelters us from the storms of life.”