Several years ago, we offered a course here at Grace entitled, “Cleansing Stream.” The course ended in a one-day retreat at North Heights Lutheran Church with people from various churches attending. I enjoyed working through the course with people and appreciated being part of the day retreat.
It was at one of these retreats that I caught a glimpse of the meaning of Psalm 3.David voices his distress in verses 1 and 2 as he speaks of his foes and enemies who were rising against him, one being his own son Absalom. But then inverse 3, there is a change as he writes, But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. All of a sudden, the voice of distress becomes the voice of worship and hope. This is the language of faith in the Lord who serves as a shield and the One who lifts him up, the One who restores him after a stressful, difficult time.
God lifts our heads, not in the sense of pride and superiority, but in the sense of joy and hope and restoration. Difficult times often bring our heads down. Sin in the past can bring our heads low. But through forgiveness God lifts our heads.
Those coming forward at the retreat for prayer were often people who had experienced emotional or spiritual pain in their lives. As we prayed for these people, I found myself praying verse 3 over them. "Lord, You are their shield; be their glory and the lifter of their heads.”
Ma God be your shield, your glory and the lifter of your head.