Last week, I went out to run the gravel roads near my home. There are rarely any vehicles, especially on the road that runs right in front of our home. But at some point in the run as I was headed back toward home a truck came near. I’m honestly not sure why it startled me, but it did. Probably because I didn’t recognize it and our street has only 5 houses so I am pretty familiar with most of the neighborhood cars. We do have one neighbor, however, whom I have never met and have never seen a vehicle at his house. It turns out, this is who it was. But before I realized that, I felt a moment of panic run through me and I prayed, “God, protect me.” Immediately after praying, and almost before I completed the thought, I saw Abba beside me. Then in a gloriously loving gesture, I saw a huge wing spread from Him and over me. I mean, I literally could see it with my eyes. I have never felt safer.
Like I said, I never really was in danger, but even though God knew that all along, it didn’t stop Him from demonstrating His affection and protection for me. What a loving Father. I honestly believe He loves to have these interactions with us.
But another thing happened in the midst of this scenario. As I continued to head home, with His wing across my shoulders, He reminded me of another instance that happened a few months ago.
That time, I was out running near our PA home and I headed out on a road that I didn’t normally run. When I reached the end of my road and went to turn onto the next street, my spirit became very alert and I looked up and saw an 18-wheeler. The driver and I made eye contact and my spirit read danger in his eyes. At first, I continued to run where I had intended, then the driver pulled his rig onto the side of the road. This was very alarming because nobody in any type of vehicle would normally pull over there because it was a curve and a dangerous place to stop, but when he did, I immediately asked God what to do, I felt I was to cross the road and turn around heading back home right then. I did, and the driver left. It was scary. Last week, when God reminded me of that encounter, He showed me that He had been protecting me then too.
Yet another memory flashed in my mind after that. During my rebellious and rebel rousing years in college, I had gone with a group of friends to Bealle Street in Memphis, TN. We had parked a little ways from the street because it was crowded that weekend, and as we were nearing our destination, we had a decision to make, would we turn down an alley that led straight to the street or circle around on the main roads to get there. Again, my spirit went on high alert, even though at that time I truly had no idea what was really happening. I knew immediately that we should not head down that dark alley. As I remember it, I told the others in the group that I had a bad feeling about that alley and another person in the group agreed, so we went on around the other way. Even in my most sinful days, His hand was guiding me. He has always been my Protector.
Lastly, a childhood memory flashed through my mind. When I was about 7 or 8 I joined the Girl Scouts. As we all know, a major part of Girl Scout activity is selling the cookies. Back in my day, it was not uncommon for kids to go door to door, knocking on random doors in the neighborhood and asking folks to buy cookies. One such day, I left my house dressed warm in a coat, hat and scarf and ran across the street to the neighbors house. As I stood outside, having rung the bell, a white van with no windows in the back pulled up next to the curb in front of my home. A man got out. He looked at me and then around, clearly observing that nobody else was around. It struck me that even though it was very cold that day, he was wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. As he got out of the van, he pulled on his pants, adjusting them. I felt panic. My spirit alerted me and I knew immediately I was to stand still. I know now that it was Holy Spirit, but I heard in my mind, “Stand still and do not move until your mom comes out looking for you. Now, I don’t know how long it actually took, but it felt like forever. Then in a moment of huge relief I saw my front door open and my mom called to me. “Lisa, come home!” The man remained. I knew this was my time to move, so in a huge arc I ran home, making sure to stay very far away from that man. I was so scared. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I know he wanted to take me, but my Protector wouldn’t allow that to happen.
See, what God reminded me last week during that run when I got needlessly scared was, He has always been right beside me. He has without fail, protected me. I am so grateful.
Take a moment today and ask God to remind you of all the times He has stood as your Guard. Let those memories bring freedom to your heart. You are free to explore and live because He is with you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you….He says.
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Psalm 37:3
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8