Battered: to beat persistently and hard; pound repeatedly; to deal heavy, repeated blows; to damage or injure as by blows, heavy wear.
God’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked. (Psalm 9:9-10 MSG)
There are times in our lives when we just seem to feel a little "battered" by the various things which impact us - things out of our control, some brought on just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time - others brought on because we deliberately put ourselves in the place where we'd feel these repeated blows. The present "battering" many of my friends are taking are definitely not by their own doing - they are being battered by disease, the unknown of resistant growths in tiny bodies, and the uncontrolled actions of internal processes gone wild in bodies plagued with disease. In these moments, the repeated blows seem to deal a very "heavy" and "damaging" effect on the mind, emotions, and even the spirit of those dealing with the circumstances. Here are some things I would like us to consider this morning:
Bad times will come - we just cannot evade them indefinitely - although we all try! As a result, there is a time of preparation we each go through BEFORE the bad times - but we may not realize we have been through this preparatory process until we are well in the midst of the present trial. It is often in the midst of the trial where we discover the truths God has given us which we will hold onto during those times. The times of connection with God PRIOR to the present blows ensure something we don't want to overlook - the blows may be heavy, but they will be unable to wear us down because there has been a "galvanizing" of our character during those preparatory times.
This is something I don't think we realize about our daily, faithful connection with the Lord - it has a way of galvanizing us against future blows. Blows have a way of causing "nicks" in that which is struck. The "galvanizing" process provides a protective barrier against the things which corrupt - such as rust. How does rust occur? Isn't it because protective barriers don't exist and there are sufficient "chinks" in the metal to allow it to be exposed to the elements attacking it? Time alone with God each day has a way of "coating" us with the protective barrier we all need in order to be protected from the elements of attack against us. Blows cause chinks - if the barrier is thick - formed over the course of time spent with God - the effects of the blows will be lessened because the protective barrier is strong.
I kind of think God is constantly calling us into the "galvanizing" chamber of his presence. Although I am not very well versed in the whole process of galvanization, I do understand something quite important. Galvanization occurs when a "charge" of some kind is applied to metal as a protective coating - but more than just a protective coating - a sacrificial coating. When exposed to damaging forces, it actually has a way of "sacrificing" some of its charge - so it does not change what is under the coating, but is combining with what is attacking, "deactivating" its destructive forces. Now, this seems pretty important to me when it comes to us being prepared for the times when repeated blows come our way. When we have the right "charge" to our lives, we have something which can be "sacrificed" to actually "inactivate" the destructiveness of that which is attacking us.
This is what our psalmist is referring to as God being a safe sanctuary for those who run to him - who take the time to knock on his door and actually enter into his presence. There is this protective process which begins in those times and becomes totally apparent when we are facing the many repeated blows which the enemy of our souls designs as those which will wear us down and cause us to no longer "function" - leaving us open to the destructiveness of his elements. God's sanctuary is not a place to be visited infrequently. Even the most "galvanized" of metals has the potential of giving off their protective barrier over the course of time - causing them to be easily attacked by the external forces. As many different types of "galvanization" should be employed in the process of really developing a protective barrier which holds up against the elements. For example - we use more than one "sacrificial anode" applied to a metal surface - in order to increase its chances of "weathering" the elements. To that we might add a special paint coating - further protecting from the elements. I think we get "re-coated" each time we enter God's presence - giving us just another degree of "charge" or "coat" which protects us.
So, despite the present blows, know this - if you have been preparing all along for the eventual attacks from without by being faithful to enter the "galvanizing chamber" of God's presence - you will not be undone by the repeated blows. They may slow you down a little, but they won't destroy ya! Just sayin!