Recently, in Dallas, we had a cold snap with temperatures below freezing. To some parts of the country this would seem like an Indian summer. Most of us who have plants that would possibly freeze covered them with something. It seems to work, protecting then from the direct freezing air or rain. While I was doing my morning walk I noticed this home in our area with a multitude of coverings. It caught my attention due to the vast numbers, so I took this photo. Seems like an overkill but of course they are not my plants.
As I was finishing my walk, I thought about us humans who face difficult trials during our life. Storms, heavy winds, extreme heat, tornadoes, hurricanes, freezing temperatures all impact us and our property. But it’s more than that. The human trials that we face; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual are very real, just like these weather elements. How do we cover ourselves to withstand each of them?
Paul, in the power of the Spirit, wrote one of the most significant messages to the Church as recorded in Ephesians 6. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (vs.11). He prefaces this statement with an exhortation. We cannot win these victories in our lives to the glory of God and the good of the kingdom in our own flesh. This is what Paul says to us. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might” (vs. 10).
The Apostle John tells us that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (I Jn. 4.4b). These plants, left uncovered, are no match for the freezing elements. I am reminded of the words about Solomon when the Shulamite bride addresses the daughters of Jerusalem. “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love” (S. of Sol. 2.4). This is pointing to the bridegroom of the Church, Jesus the Christ. We, those in Christ, are covered with the ‘banner of his love’.
An eternal banner
As a military flag indicates location or possession, so Solomon’s love flew over his beloved one. Most have seen the posting of the American flag on Iwo Jima in WWII. The island had become the possession of the U.S. troops. A major battle was fought and the U.S troops were victorious. The Psalmist says it well. “We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions. Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand” (Vs. 20.5,6).
Do you see these promises, and the power (saving strength) of his might? Nothing is a match for him. The cross of Christ is an eternal banner. It stands for the victory for our souls, eternally. The battle for the hearts and minds of mankind was won then and there. The Romans did just what the U.S. troops did, planted the wooden cross into the ground. But in this case, it was a wooden banner of love from our Savior.
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Vs. 20.7). Dads, when the ravaging winds blow into your family’s life, who are you trusting? What, who is your covering?