You are Surrounded!
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Do you feel alone today? Alone in your decisions? Alone in your struggles?
Actually, you’re not alone. You are surrounded — by more Love and Protection than you can possibly imagine…
A missionary once told the story of biking for two days into the nearest African city to purchase supplies for his small field hospital. After treating the injuries of a man he encountered, he visited the bank and supply store, and then continued his bike journey home, camping one night in the jungle.
Two weeks later, when the missionary returned to the same city, the young man he had bandaged up previously pulled him aside and made a surprising confession. “My friends and I knew you carried money and medicine, so we followed you to your campsite, planning to steal everything and kill you. But just as we were about to attack you, we saw twenty-six armed guards surrounding you.”
“You must be mistaken; I was all alone that night,” the missionary answered.
“Oh no,” the young man said. “All of us saw the guards. That’s the only reason we didn’t kill you.”
While home on furlough, the missionary shared this story with his home church and a man interrupted him, “What was the specific month and day this happened?”
After being told the date, the man explained, “At the time of this incident, I was on the golf course for some morning practice. I was about to putt when I was struck by a sudden urge to pray for you. It was so strong I left the course and called some men at our church to join me in praying for you. Would all you men who prayed that day stand up?” One by one the missionary counted the men.
There were twenty-six — the exact number of ‘armed guards’ the thwarted assailants had seen.
When I heard this story I was immediately reminded of Elisha in the Bible… One day the prophet Elisha and his servant awakened to discover they were surrounded by the enemy.
Though his servant panicked, Elisha could see that spiritual protection was also in place. He told his servant, “Don’t be afraid,” Elisha said, “because there are more of us than there are of them.” Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.”
The Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw that the mountain was “full of horses and fiery chariots surrounding Elisha.” (2 Kings 6.16-17 CEB) So then Elisha prayed that his enemies’ eyes would be blinded. They were, and Elisha led them directly into the hands of the king of Israel.
You are surrounded today. Perhaps by distractions and duties and discouragement. But also surrounded by God’s presence and power; even in the form of heavenly guard!
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” Psalm 125.2
The psalmist compares this protection to the city of Jerusalem and rightly so. “In ancient times there was no more militarily secure position for a city than to be behind encircling mountains. Trusting in God is like being in a mountain fastness. How? Trusting God is also the way to eventually get breathtaking sights of God himself. Most of all, trusting God means connecting yourself to the one person who will endure forever. And that means you will endure as well.” (Tim Keller)
In a world in which seemingly everything changes and nothing lasts, remember that God surrounds you. Always.
under the mercy, Cindy
©2017 Lucinda Secrest McDowell – adapted from Ordinary Graces (Abingdon Press)
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