"With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall." (Psalm 18:29 NIV)
The word "wall" is used in the Bible MANY times, (mostly in the old testament). Walls are built around cities to protect the people...to keep people in...to keep people out. Walls are built in our homes to define space. We need definition in our lives...we need to know which rooms are for what purpose. We build walls within ourselves too, don't we? Our mental walls help to define who we are. Unfortunately, the walls we build to define ourselves often appear between us and other people, or other groups of people and can, if left unchecked, lead to misunderstanding, jealousy, bigotry and hate. God doesn't want our walls to do that to us...He has no walls...He doesn't need them. But he can help us to break down the hurtful walls, leaving only the supportive, protective, load bearing walls that we need.
The Lord's Prayer begins with "Our Father, which art in heaven..." We often begin our prayers with "Heavenly Father..." How does identifying yourself as a child of God help you? For me, knowing that I am a child of God...knowing that my father is more powerful and above everything comforts me and gives me strength. That verse, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13) is very true for me. God is my Father, Christ is my brother...I can get through ANYTHING knowing this!
Relationships also define who we are. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an employee, a friend...these relationships shape who I am and who I am needed to be. They dictate how I use my time, treasures and talents and demonstrate how I show my love. Many times these relationships come with walls or cause us to build more walls...keeping some people and/or groups of people at a distance and we find it difficult to show them love.
I think I am a pretty loving and open and accepting person, and when I first tried to think of people I have built walls around, I had a hard time thinking of examples. We build a wall of deception around ourselves, making us look better to ourselves. It's hard to hold the mirror up to ourselves, isn't it? But we have no problem pointing out the walls of others, right? I think I have built walls up between myself and people who act differently than myself...people who party all the time...people who are less educated...people who are poorer than myself...self-righteous people...there are groups of people that make me nervous because they think and act differently and I don't understand them. I don't want to think that I treat people differently. I don't like thinking that way about myself...but I think I do.
Jesus didn't have many walls. He didn't let socio-economic levels, education, class, race, culture or anything else separate him from the people around him...except for the religious leaders of the time and he was trying to help them break down their own walls! I pray today that God gives me grace to recognize the walls I have built in my life that are keeping me at a distance and keeping me from showing his love to people who really need it. If you have walls in your life...I pray that God helps you break them down as well. It won't be easy, but with God's help we can scale those walls, get over them and then TEAR THEM DOWN!