Psalm 121 – Defender

Psalm 121

1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. 6 The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. 8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.

I had a very interesting experience a few years ago. My family and I attended the opening game of the San Diego Padres season. As Padres fans, we were very excited about the opportunity and even more excited when the Padres came back to win over our bitter rivals, the Dodgers. I can still hear the chants of “Beat L.A.” ringing in my ears. Yet, this was not the interesting experience. Late in the eighth inning, my son, Clark, who was only 10 at the time, had to use the restroom. As I was watching him walk back up the stairs to return to his seat near us, a man called him over and began to hug him and try to get Clark to sit next to him. My fatherly instincts immediately kicked in as I began to rise ready to quickly close the gap of about 25 yards between my son and me. Thankfully, Clark promptly got out of the situation and made his way up to us, but it freaked him out.

As I was talking to him about what had happened stressing the never-talk-to-strangers rule, he looked up with tears in his eyes. That was all it took. My fatherly instincts kicked in, and I promptly headed down to have a conversation with that guy. I’m a typically mild mannered guy, but I got in the guy’s face and demanded an explanation and his assurance that he would never talk to my son again nor any other boy that he did not know. Unfortunately, what I was met with was a guy so drunk that he could not even carry on a conversation and friends around him that only made excuses for his behavior.

What it has me thinking about is how natural that response was from me. I can honestly say that I believe I was walking in the Spirit’s power throughout the incident and that my response was completely appropriate to the situation, but it didn’t even cross my mind that I might be walking into a situation that could be potentially harmful to me (one 5’6”, 190 lb. guy vs. a few much larger men). Although this was all that my wife, Melissa, could think about looking on, as her nurturing wife instincts tingled.

If this is the way I instantly respond in defense of my son, how much more is our infinitely loving and powerful heavenly Father protecting us? As much as I desire to protect my son, it is really our Lord, Yahweh, who is guarding and protecting him. It is my job; it is our job to lift our eyes to Yahweh. I can’t watch Clark all the time, even if I wanted to. I have to sleep sometimes, but Yahweh never sleeps. Day and night, He is always vigilant. Evil will never ultimately win. Yahweh has made sure of that. What a privilege to be a child of His!

Amidst the dangers of our world, may we lift our eyes to a Father who is ready, willing and able at any moment to rush to our aid.

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