God is our protector and shield. He is our ever present help in trouble. He is always with us, and He has given his angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways.
How many times have you heard this? A lot? So have I, and I believe every word of it. God gave us these promises in His divinely inspired Word. It is completely true. We can count on it.
Despite all this head knowledge, however, do you become accustomed to the goodness of God? Is His protection something we have taken for granted? Do you thank your Heavenly Father for His protection simply because you have heard it in prayer so many times that it rattles off your tongue?
It is too easy to become relaxed and ungrateful.
I woke up this week.
It happened fast, and the danger was past before I had time to pray or think. It was almost over before I knew there was any danger. Let me explain.
I enjoy riding my bike, and I combine cycling with my newspaper delivery job six days a week. My route has become a special time of consideration, prayer, and, on occasion, singing praise songs to God. My songs are never loud or technically difficult. They may not always be real songs. Words are changed around, new lyrics are tacked on to familiar melodies, or common words might be given a new tune. I have fun, and even when my voice is tired or strained, it can be hard to stop once I begin!
On this particular day I was singing words like:
You are my Protector
You are my Shield
My Heavenly Father
My Guardian and Protector
It isn’t poetical, but it was heart felt. As I alternated between humming and singing – all the time tossing newspapers unto one porch after another – the word Protector kept coming up. It wasn’t intentional. I was only half thinking about it. Other words would break up the monotony, but Protector kept coming to my mind and tongue.
I turned onto an alley and headed toward my next street. A sharp turn came – the same turn I have gone around hundreds of times before. An almost new privacy fence shielded my view of the way ahead. I was going fast. This was an opportunity to shave a few seconds off of my time. Tea and a book awaited me at home. The wind was rustling the trees. I couldn’t hear.
Bam. A truck jammed on the breaks just yards in front of me. My bike veered to the side of the alley and narrowly missed hitting the heavy pickup truck head on. We had both reached the turn at almost the same moment. Neither of us had been able to see the other.
I steered my bicycle around the truck. He continued driving. I rode a few feet before stopping – the delayed reaction of my near miss overcoming me as I sat there in the middle of the alley. The realization of how close I had come to severe injury – possibly even death -- dawned on me. The natural response was a deeply felt prayer of thanksgiving.
"Lord, I was singing earlier about how you are my Protector. I did mean it, and you were more than faithful. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for keeping me safe."
You see, I believe we are in danger more often than even we know. How many times has something similar to my story happened to you? I am sure we can all think of times that something terrible almost happened – but it didn’t. God is great! He is our Protector and Shield. Trust Him. Praise Him. He is worthy of all honor and praise. I will keep singing! What about you?
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Read the rest of Psalm 91! It is so encouraging!