a big God in an uncertain world

timothy-chan-DFa_0BN9P6U-unsplashLife is a journey, and journeys are trails and byways filled with uncertainties. Even in the age of Google Maps and cell phones, there are sudden snowstorms, “Bridge Out Ahead” signs, gas on “E” moments, and global epidemics. Wherever there are journeys, there is the certainty that we will wrestle with difficulties, illnesses, and conflicts. Historically, people have struggled with plague, pestilence, war, slavery, famine, and even genocide. No surprise. We face our uncertainties, too.

Recognizing this, the wise traveler always carries a spiritual first-aid kit, a speed-dial for heaven, a way of entreating God for his continued protection.

Pastor Calvin Miller writes, “From obstetrician to mortician, our lives are filled with peril, and we dare not make the journey unprotected. Naked on the field of battle, we cry out for God to clothe us in his armor.”

a33ceb92f05114ad08876fda541b2210[1]Drawing from Ephesians 6 (the Armor of God) and Matthew 10 (God’s watchfulness over every lily, bird, and hair on our heads), one Celtic Pastor named St. Patrick wrote the following declaration—a Breast Plate—to face the struggles of each day. Patrick knew that we need reminding of God’s overarching power and sovereign care. Early Christians recited this from memory to refresh their faith. Joining with Christians throughout the ages, let us pray it out loud when we need reminding:

I arise today, through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today, in the protection of Jesus my Lord
Through the strength of His birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today, a part of a long line of God’s Faithful Servants
In the love of cherubim, In the obedience of angels, In the service of archangels, In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward, In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets, In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors, In the innocence of holy virgins, In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through God who created
The strength of heaven, The light of the sun, The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire, The speed of lightning, The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea, The stability of the earth, The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me
From snares of devils, From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today, through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
I rest in Him, trust Him, and serve Him. Amen.

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