When I woke up, the day didn’t start out well. I allowed myself to get in a bad mood. A broken down system at work. Getting parked in by landscapers. Having my privacy invaded. The list of issues that rained down on me that morning brought the perfect storm. If you must know, yes, it was a Monday! I don’t have problems with Mondays though. Everything just seemed to fall upon me though on this particular Monday.
Keeping one’s attitude in check is hard, but it’s even more difficult when multiple things go wrong. We may brush off a few things, but as the bullets keep flying, we often lose it. We are in control of our attitude. We are responsible for our reactions. That day, since the system was down, I left work early to head home. I desired the opportunity to just lay on the sofa with the pups and read my Bible. I needed to just hide under the covers with Him and get away from this heaping mess. I needed to rest with Him and fix my attitude.
On the way home, it was raining. There was a slick spot where there must have been oil on the ground. When some fellow jumped into our lane without following proper driving rules, we all had to stop. The space was there. The time was there. But the oil was also there. My van slid right into the truck in front of me. I closed my eyes. Not something else. I didn’t even want to get out and look, but when I did, I praised the Lord. No injuries, and little damage. Why? Because of the hitch. The man had a hitch on his truck. It kept our vehicles separated. Despite all the craziness of the day, despite being pelted with many things that day, the hitch was there—just like the ram in the bush. God provided a hedge around me and reminded me things would be just fine. Look around today. Perhaps there’s a hitch in your path—something to help to refocus your eyes on God.
“Abraham answered, ‘God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ Then the two of them walked on together.” – Genesis 22:8 [HCSB]
God’s timing is always the best timing. Oftentimes we consider how we don’t receive a particular blessing until just the right time when it is needed, but He also keeps us from seeing or experiencing things until it is the proper time as well. Not only can we look at His perfect timing when it comes to the blessings we receive, but we also can look at His perfect timing when He protects us or keeps us from something until the timing is more appropriate or better for His great work.
This past week was Holy Week. It was a full on week of preaching and ministering. Throughout the week, I kept myself fixated on God’s Word, continuously in prayer, and I tried to balance out things so I had rest built in within the busy schedule. But in the midst of it all, God was not allowing me to see things that would throw me off course as well. We don’t often consider how He is fighting for us, moving behind the scenes to ensure His children stay the course and run the race before them. He is a faithful God. He is a merciful, gracious God.
God’s timing is always perfect. Today, consider what you do not get to see happening—the protection of God, the hand of God keeping you from items hidden from your view. The Lord embraces you—covers you with His protective wings. It is not by chance that you missed a particular newspaper article. It is not by chance that you caught that red light that didn’t seem to go off like the normal traffic timing at that time of the day. Everything is under God’s control. Today, thank Him for His protection. Thank Him for seeing things through to the end. Thank Him for using you for His great work and for never letting you go. He is faithful! He is awesome! He is Lord of all!
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’ For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” – Psalm 91:1-4 [NASB]
The other morning I had a rude awakening. It was 3 a.m. so I was out cold. All of the sudden I heard barking. Max doesn’t bark for fun. He is not very vocal unless there is a problem. I quickly ran downstairs to find a neighbor’s friend was wandering around to the wrong house, attempting to get into our home. When Max started barking, he realized he was at the wrong place. I could even hear the fear in his voice when he asked the neighbor to let him in. Max is a good guard dog and he’s usually on duty, even at three in the morning.
God is ALWAYS on duty. The Psalmist wrote that “The LORD himself watches over you.” He watches over you. He doesn’t need to have someone else do it. He personally does it. He wrote further, “The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.” Not only does God watch over you, but He stands beside you. He is with you. And He protects you.
These aren’t promises on pages—these are real truths. Take these words to heart my friend. God watches over you. I could write books about the many, many times He was watching over me, and that’s just the moments I noticed. Imagine when I wasn’t paying attention! Let us thank Him for His protective shade and His watchful eyes. Let us thank Him that He always is with us through it all.
“The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.” – Psalm 121:5 [NLT]
When I worked in the area of childcare, I remember how we would walk with the children. There would always be an adult leading the way and there would always be an adult at the end of the line. Having an adult at the front of the line would not only provide leadership but also protection. The leading adult could be sure to watch out for danger lurking ahead. The adult at the back of the line had the job of making sure all the children were in the line and no one was left behind. The adult in the back also provided protection for the children because he or she had a different perspective.
Isaiah wrote that the Lord went ahead of the people and that the Lord protected the people from behind. There was protection all around, almost as if the people were in a giant protective bubble. But this bubble is real. God goes before us and he goes behind us. We are always under his protection.
Knowing that the Lord is with us always, that he is always before us and behind us and with us, can help us all to press forward with confidence. We can walk in faith, knowing that he is in control and that we are always under his protection.
“You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the LORD will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.” – Isaiah 52:12 [NLT]