This is the day where if you don’t wear green, you’ll get pinched. Ouch, right? So, why do we decide to wear green and follow these traditions? If you know anything about St. Patrick, you know his prayer of protection or breastplate prayer. The prayer is long, but the encouragement still speaks the same message to this day. Here is a small excerpt of the prayer:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
The Irish see that St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. The celebrations should be about being thankful for him and thankful that his missions helped bring about the message of the Good News. Moreover, it is being thankful that God gave His only Son to die for us so that we could live. Therefore, it is always a celebration when the gospel is preached to the lost.
In Mark 16:15, Jesus appears to the 11 disciples and commands them to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.”
Are you thankful that someone obeyed God and preached the gospel to you? I am. Without God, my life would be totally different. Imagine what life would be like for you. Even more, imagine what the country of Ireland would be like if the gospel was never reached there. So, when you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, remember what it is all about, and that is the gospel.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:15-17).
St. Patrick’s life was an unexpected one. He was taken as a teenager while his home was being robbed and was shipped from Britain to Ireland. He was intentionally isolated for six years as a shepherd until he escaped. The story also states that he became close to God during this time. Would you not reach out to God if you were in his situation?
St. Patrick’s Day should be a day to focus on Christ Himself. So, as you read his prayer, you see that the central focus is about Jesus Christ. But, never just rely on prayer alone. The Word of God is the only weapon that can defeat the lies of the enemy. In Matthew 4, Jesus was taken into the wilderness for 40 days and nights. He had no food or water. But what He had was the Word of God itself.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:1-4).
Oftentimes, when we don’t focus on God, we feel abandoned and alone. I am sure St. Patrick had those feelings during his time of isolation. I am also sure that some of those emotions overcame moments where doubt and fear became the focus. When we make our situations bigger than God, we are maximizing the fear of the enemy rather than maximizing God in the situation.
Even David in the Bible wondered why he was out in the pasture for so long. He did not understand the purpose of being set aside, alone, and isolated. But all along, God had a plan and used that experience for the future of Israel.
Now then, you are to tell My servant David that this is what the LORD of Hosts says:” I took you from the pasture, from following the flock, to be the ruler over My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make for you a name like the greatest in the land” (2 Samuel 7:8-9).
You are never ever alone. In all situations where you feel isolated and doubtful, understand that your peace is with God alone. “You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You” (Isaiah 26:3).
Rebecca Mashburn (Gordon) has a wonderful husband named Joseph. She has a blog, Trust. Lean, Seek and is working on becoming what God is calling her to. She has a bachelor’s in psychology and hopes to one day pursue a degree in biblical counseling. Rebecca loves to be in nature, especially in springtime, and she loves to travel. She has a loving family and hopes one day to have children of her own.