Read: "But you, O Lord , are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high" (Psalms 3:3 NLT).
Think About it: Have you ever felt like this: "I just can't do it. No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to make it all click. I mean, I know I am not completely incompetent, but making people believe I can do it is something so much more difficult. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to climb Mt. Everest just to get through a day feeling as though I really do have something to offer. It seems as though I can be surrounded by several or more people and still feel overlooked, underestimated, disregarded, and all alone. I even struggle resenting others who appear to always have it all together. It's like I can feel the laser-burning judgment from their eyes piercing through my layers of fear and insecurity as though they are saying, 'Come on...just snap out of it.' 'Snap out of it?' Oh, I assure you I've tried. I try to believe I'm better than I think others are perceiving me. It's just that some days are harder than others. What more can I do?"
Going Deeper: "But You, O Lord..." is the psalmists reply to his own feelings of inadequacy and dealings with the notion that he was suffocating from the pressures around him. "But You, O Lord" was the stark reminder that it wasn't all about him or what he was going through, as though he really were all alone. God was with him. In focusing on all that he didn't have in comparison to others and being led by his own emotions, he lost focus on all that God already was and wanted to be in his life. There are days when you are going to feel as though you have used all your strength to climb up just to find that you have reached the bottom of the barrel. Don't give into the temptation to dwell on what you see around you. Look up to see the face of God smiling upon you. You are still His creation and He is passionately in love with you and is waiting for you to look to Him for all you need. He wants to be, as the psalmist writes, your shield. He wants to be your security, your sense of protection and stability. You won't find it in the appeasing of others, nor in their wavering opinions of you. You won't find it in yourself, your abilities, or in your own hopes and dreams. HE is your shield. He is your glory. That means, in the Hebrew, He is your value, your worth, your accolade, and your reputation. Everything you ever try to achieve in the eyes of other people, you already have in HIM. When you grab hold of that truth, insecurity and doubt begins to suffocate in the altitude of the heights that God wants to take you! He is the one who lifts your head high. The temptation is to look down when you're discouraged. It's time to look up and see what He has before you. Yesterday is gone, but today, this moment, is right here. Look up and see the new opportunities and the new grace that covers old mistakes.
Next Step: The truth is simple. You are going to face a moment today, or soon, where you attempt to either look at yourself through the eyes of another's opinion, or either through your own eyes of self-aggrandizing ego. Either way, take a pause, even right now, and have a "But You, O Lord" moment. Let it sink in that it's not about you. Rather, God has a plan and a purpose for you and your life today. Be assured that He has already made available to you everything that you have need of to live successful and prosperous, to make a difference, and to leave a legacy of influence on this day. Trust Him. Look up. Know that all you need is found in Him.