Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Shield

Dogs scare me. Big ones, little ones, quiet ones, and “yappers.” Experience has taught me to keep my distance. Sometimes I talk sweetly to them, but even then, I got a growl once. When I walk in the neighborhood alone, I take my umbrella. Fortunately I’ve only needed it one time. With the press of a button, an expanding umbrella is a pretty good deterrent to a curious dog.

When my dad walks with me, no umbrella is necessary. On more than one occasion, he’s been my shield. One day we met two rascals. We saw the first one coming. A boxer, whom we’ve met before, trotted down the street, heading straight toward us. We had time to prepare. Before she came close, Dad moved to put himself between me and the dog. As the dog circled around us, I circled around Dad, trying to keep him between me and her. Fortunately, the boxer was friendly, and didn’t stay with us long.

The other rascal was a surprise. We were walking into a cove when we heard little feet running on pavement. Then came the barking. This much smaller dog wasn’t happy that two strangers had entered his domain. When Dad heard the running and the barking, he grabbed my arm and whirled me away from the little yapper, again putting himself between me and danger. The dog backed off. He must have been convinced that Dad was much bigger than him and could take him.

My dad acted on a father’s instinct to protect. He made himself a shield to keep me from potential harm. In Genesis 15:1 (NKJV), God told Abraham, “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” When worry threatens our peace, when anxiety encircles us, when fear haunts us, God is our shield. He stands between us and those things that would harm our souls. But we have to make the choice to stand behind Him, and depend on Him to protect us. God walks with us through all of life. With God as our shield, we can walk through life with courage and confidence, and not let fear hinder us.

“But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head” (Psalm 3:3 NKJV)

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