Women are exceptionally resilient creatures, aren’t they?
The weaker sex are contrarily strong, often possessing a tenacity seldom seen in men. Women walk through battlefields to save the ones they love. We are lashed by many storms and somehow still manage to keep going. We seek to give comfort even when our hearts get broken over and over again.
We, the daughters of Eve, have been assaulted by the enemy from the moment of our conception. And just like she was, we often stand against that onslaught alone.
And we survive. Oh, how we survive.
We fortify our walls and make our armor strong, and who can blame us? We’ve needed something to protect our tender hearts from getting devastated beyond repair. Because like Eve, we’ve come to believe this lie: “You are alone. No one cares, nobody can help you. You need to take care of yourself because no one else is going to.”
And just like Eve stretched out her hands to take the fruit, we strive to take matters into our own hands. And all the while, as God had warned Eve, we are dying inside.
We build our our self-made fortress of religion, achievements, entertainment. And in there, safe and protected, we stop hoping, growing, breathing. We stop living.
Because the problem with surviving, you see, is that it’s not at all what the Lord planned for us. He made us to thrive, not merely survive.
There is a message of comfort that we need to hear. I’ve found this comfort in the darkest moments of my life, and oh how we need it.
So come on in, mighty woman of valor. Lay down your sword and shield, sit awhile. Let the Spirit of the Lord comfort your weary soul and bring healing to your battered heart, and let new hope arise as the sun rises with healing in its wings.
“O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.“
(Isaiah 54: 11 & 12)
The message of comfort is this: I will.
God speaks to the barren woman/widow and tells her that He will fight for her. He cuts to the core of the problem – Adam’s failure to protect Eve, resulting in womankind’s fundamental belief that we need to fight for ourselves – and redeems it.
Adam stood passively by as Eve reached out to take the fruit. He didn’t fight for her; he abdicated his place as leader and instead took the place of accuser, “THAT woman made me do it…” and that betrayal served to solidify the seed of the doubt planted in her heart by the serpent. God and man had abandoned her; she wasn’t safe and needed to defend herself. And she passed on that belief to her daughters and their daughters..
But now Jesus, the second Adam, has stepped into time to redeem what had been lost in Eden.
His promise to the barren woman/widow is that He will fight for her. Though she’s been in a continual state of affliction, He is going to step in. He will make things right; He won’t stand by and make her fend for herself.
And aren’t we all, on some level, like the barren woman or widow? There are places in our lives that feel like they will never bear fruit. There are areas of futility. We sometimes feel so alone and defenseless. There may even be seasons that we feel like everything within us is failing. We need to carefully guard whatever resource is left in us, lest others take even that away.
He says, “I will rebuild you. I will build your foundations and your defenses. I won’t leave you alone and without protection.”
That is the comfort, beloved. That we can love and forgive yet still be protected/guard our hearts.
He will build the walls. He will build the defenses.
We don’t become passive, weak, or play the damsel in distress. We just let God be God so that we can let ourselves be women.
One of the biggest questions I’ve ever asked has been, “Lord, how do I forgive yet guard my heart?” I knew that the Lord wanted me to forgive those who had hurt me, and I was terrified that doing so would allow them to keep hurting me.
I felt vulnerable, exposed, and desperate to protect myself. But like the fig leaves were a singularly feeble attempt to hide Eve’s shame, so were the myriad ways I tried to keep myself covered.
One day the Lord gave me a vision. I was a little girl dressed in a rich velvet gown of deep red, and on my head was an intricate gold crown with a beautiful red Ruby in the middle. I danced freely before the throne of God, hands lifted up and my gown twirling about me in a perfectly delightful manner. I felt the pleasure of God flowing toward me as He watched from His throne, and I knew in that moment that I was irrevocably, unreservedly loved.
Why was I wearing a crown of Ruby and what did it symbolize? I kept this in my heart, not understanding the fullness of what the Lord was saying. A few years later, the Lord answered me in a time of great distress from Isaiah 54, “I will make your battlements of rubies.”
This time, I understood a little more (God’s Word is living, active, and possesses so many layers that we can never stop discovering new depths of meaning to them).
Battlements: defense walls. the distinguishing feature of a royal castle.
Vision of Rubies: worship. royalty. daughter of the king. favored.
The Lord showed me that as I worshiped Him, healing & strength would wrap around me like a protective covering for my heart. My identity as the beloved, favorite daughter of the King would be my shield and protection. These walls would be built by Him as I kept my eyes on Him and they were sufficient for me.
And I have found Him true to His word. In moments of great pain and vulnerability, I have found deep healing and peace in worship & dance. Healing flows as I lift my hands toward Him. Strength and peace wrap around my heart. Every little gem stone of Ruby comes together in His hands to build a battlement
Beloved, God is saying to our hearts:
“I will build the walls. I will build the defenses.
I will protect you. I will fight for you.
As you grow in the knowledge of who you are – the beloved, favorite daughter of the King – that identity will be your shield and protection.
Healing and strength comes as you worship Me.
Trust me. Reject Eve’s doubt in your life.
I am not like your father or your husband, or any other man that has hurt you;
Even though your father abandoned you, I will never turn My back. I will never leave nor forsake you.
Even though your husband rejected and shamed you, I will never disengage. I will pursue your heart and have great compassion on you.
Even though men use you and abuse you, I will never do anything except for your good.
I AM, and I WILL.
No weapon forged against you will prevail.
O afflicted one, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will build you up
and what I build will never be shaken.”