By Debra Torres
The pair of blue jays excitedly flitted about in the white birch just outside my bedroom window.
I have a “prayer chair” that faces that window and the jays made my time with God a little more jumpy that morning.
I watched as the male jay found a loose piece of paper-white bark and brought it to his mate. She then gently tapped it in all comfy-like into the side of the nest they were building.
I thought that’s what the jays were up to and, although I looked forward to watching their family grow, I couldn’t help but observe the construction process with a sense of dread.
You see, the birch grows just a few feet from our deck and more often than not three of the jay’s greatest enemies spend many hours there napping in the sun.
And I know that the sound of hungry baby birds will be like a dinner bell ringing to my fluffy felines.
I’ll be praying protection fairly regularly in the next few weeks, I think.
Have you ever been placed in a dangerous situation like my birds? I know for many of us, it can be a time of deep and desperate reliance on God.
Once my car broke down at night in a bad part of town while I lived in the South. I remember praying all the way to a small gas station and even reciting scripture as I ran through a dark underpass.
I was in tears when I got to the gas station, but the owner coldly directed me to an outside pay phone where I could clearly see a group of men lurking in the shadows.
I must have taken a deep breath and prayed like crazy as I made my way out that door.
But I wish you could have seen what happened next.
The majority of those men got into their vehicles as quickly as they could and drove off. It was like I had brought out with me a troop of burly policemen.
God’s protection is an amazing thing isn’t it? Now, I’m not advising you do the same thing that I did. Looking back, I think it was a bit foolish for me to walk out there. But, I’m sure God knew that already and still decided to step in.
We have no idea how many times God’s protection keeps us out of trouble and accident. Sometimes we get a sense of it, like in my gas station experience, but there are times when we’re oblivious to the levels of heartache, pain and sickness we are spared because we are walking with him.
In Psalm 23:5 it says that God prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies.
I love the mental picture I get when I think about that scripture. In my mind, crystal glasses are tinkling, silverware glints in the sun and a tasty feast is served. And all the while, hell’s creatures look on – impotent because of the protection of God.
It’s important to note though that the extent of God’s protection can often depend on us. If we’ve strayed from him, we may notice we’re out from under his covering.
Pastor Dr. David Cannistraci calls this the “power of proper positioning.” In his blog he writes: “Spiritual protection for God’s people depends completely upon proper positioning. Even though the promise of safety was made, nobody was safe unless they were in place. Had the Israelites left their homes during Passover, or had Rahab been anywhere but behind the crimson cord, they would not have been covered. The same is true of Noah and his family during the flood.
"Position is important. The Psalmist wrote, ‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty’ (Psalm 91:1).
“The best umbrella is useless in a rainstorm unless you are positioned under it. Today, it’s essential for us to know how and where to come under the full protection of Christ’s sacrifice. Our faith in Christ saves us, but our cooperation with His provision is the key to everything else. God is under no obligation to protect us when we resist His direction, but He will guard those who are surrendered and in place.”
We need to take a “position check” from time to time I think, making sure we stay well within God’s shelter.
It looks like God may have whispered some truth to my nesting jays because they’ve been nowhere to be found these last few days. I hope they’ve decided on a better location for their new family.
One that’s safely “in the shadow of his wings.”
Here are some Bible verses that'll help you on your journey:
Psalm 144:2 Good News Translation
2 He is my protector and defender,
my shelter and savior,
in whom I trust for safety.
He subdues the nations under me.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 English Standard Version
3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
2 Samuel 22:3-4 Living Bible
3 I will hide in God,
Who is my rock and my refuge.
He is my shield
And my salvation,
My refuge and high tower.
Thank you, O my Savior,
For saving me from all my enemies.
4 I will call upon the Lord,
Who is worthy to be praised;
He will save me from all my enemies.
Who is God? God is a loving Father who provides protection for us. We, however, have a big responsibility in making sure we stay under that protection. Let's dwell in His shelter, so we can abide in His shadow.
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