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Friday, October 1, 2010

Guardian, Defender, Our God

1-2 I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains?
   No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.  3-4 He won't let you stumble, your Guardian God won't fall asleep.
   Not on your life! Israel's Guardian will never doze or sleep.
 5-6 God's your Guardian, right at your side to protect you— shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. 7-8 God guards you from every evil,
      he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.
(Psalm 121)

Those of you who follow this blog regularly will have noted that I missed the blog yesterday.  It was not my intention to have done so, but life handed me a little more than I expected in the past 48 hours - a royal case of the stomach flu!  Now, if I could only keep off the six pounds I've lost!

I wondered why, of all times, God allowed this to happen.  You see, mom was having surgery yesterday morning, and like always, I wanted to be at her bedside throughout her stay.  Needless to say, it was all I could do to just be there long enough to hear the doctor's explanation of the outcome and then it was off to bed for me.  

Even a royal case of stomach flu can teach us so much, if we listen.  I actually had to admit to God that "I" couldn't do it ALL.  I had to allow others to step in - do the driving, stay at her bedside, and even to take me to the urgent care and to stock me up with Gatorade.  It is often a struggle for us to truly "rely" on other people that God has so faithfully placed in our lives.  We want to think we can do it all - but when push comes to shove, we often come to the realization that we cannot.  I am blessed to have a caring family who is there when I need them, friends that reach out in compassion, and a wonderful God who makes every provision even before I have need of it.

The psalmist asked the pointed question - does my strength come from mountains?  His resounding answer - no!  It comes from God and God alone.  God is our guardian - right alongside to help every step of the way.  What an amazing lesson for us to get hold of!  No other strength "out-does" God's strength!  No other provision "out-gives" his provision!  No other protection "out-defends" his protection!  

Those that God leads into our lives are specifically placed there by his hand.  There is no "accidental encounter" in God's economy.  A few week's ago, a friend who had undergone surgery for cancer was visiting her doctor.  I was meeting Mom at the same surgeon's office, totally unaware that my friend was there before Mom arrived.  I stayed in the hallway awaiting Mom's arrival.  When my friend stepped out, we were the only two people there.  I knew something was wrong.  As she poured out her heart, struggling with the disappointment that her progress with healing was not going as well as she had hoped, I sensed the reason I was there.  We embraced, we prayed, and we even laughed a little.  It was a divine moment!

God often has us in the right place at the right time - to be his hands and feet - extending his grace, love, and compassion for a hurting friend.  I saw those "divine" interventions all over the place yesterday!  Nurses I trust so very much - alongside Mom's bed giving her the most tenderest care.  An anesthesiologist who took the extra time to call the night ahead of time in order to answer Mom's questions and then found me after the surgery to let me know that all had gone well.  The family members who sat for hours with Mom while I was at home resting.  The friends who sent messages of encouragement and offered to bring me nourishment.  All by his provision.

God is our guardian - both now and forever.  Those individuals he placed there yesterday gave me the opportunity to rest - something my body so desperately needed.  It may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it was "HUGE" in my ability to rest and be at total peace.  That is our God in action.  How has he been your "guardian" this week?  Who has he placed in your path this week that has been an angel of mercy?  Where does our help come from - HIM!  Amen!