On a visit to my in-laws at their quiet, rural farm in West Central Wisconsin, I decided to go for a run. The roads are rolling and the countryside is beautiful, so it can be a very enjoyable run (even over the sound of me catching my breath). As I will come across a home from time to time, my running partner, my in-laws’ dog Snickers, and I came across another dog. We ran past before he got too close but on these country roads there are not any blocks so you have to come back the way you came…so we returned.
On passing the house-with-the-dog, the dog was back out again barking and making a ruckus as we approached. Snickers quickened his pace (boy, it sure seems easier to run on four legs than two…) and came up to the dog. As I ran past, I noticed Snickers wasn’t playing with the dog but was standing still in front of him…between me and the dog. Snick would occasionally look to see my progress and, after I got far enough down the road, he broke connection with the dog and ran up to me with the dog remaining at his home.
In those moments I couldn’t help but reflect on the many occasions in Psalms on how often God is described as our shield (Psalm 3:3; 5:12; 7:10; 18:30, 35; 28:7; 33:20 and many more…). While we are never guaranteed a life of ease, we can always trust that He will be with us in those moments and, undoubtedly, providing the protective presence that, in the moment, we may not even realize. Isaiah reminds the people “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (41:10).
May you take a moment to thank God for the ways that He has protected you and served as your refuge and rock even when you were not aware. May your eyes be open to seeing His presence and sustaining hand in your life, whether in your darkest nights or brightest days.
Psalm 18:2: The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.