A Rampart

         The answer to your prayers is not always flashy.  Sometimes when it looks like something might get bad, and you pray, it ends up being nothing.  It’s not dramatic. It’s not showy, but it’s God at work.  You just got protected.  It might be easy in those moments to forget to thank God, but if we could see all the disasters He has saved us from, we would never neglect to praise him.

         Someone said to me one time that they wondered if the movies we’d watch in Heaven would be a show of all the times God spared us from some danger and we didn’t even know it.  That sounds like a movie I’d want to see!

         Psalm 91:4 says, “[God’s] faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”  Many of us have found ourselves fighting battles in life and have seen God’s faithfulness in the midst of it.  We held on to Him, and He got us through.  In those moments He was our shield.  Let’s praise Him for that.

         But how many times has He blocked a threat before it ever affects us or before we were ever even aware of it.  In those moments He was our rampart, a wall around the city protecting those inside.  Let’s praise Him for that most of all.  It is a foretaste of our Heavenly destination where nothing will ever disturb us.  And yet, this kind of blessing is most easily overlooked.  Isn’t it ironic that God would receive the least glory when He gives us the most protection?

         I remember years ago in a prayer meeting at church a lady recounted to the group how her relative had been misdiagnosed with cancer.  If I remember correctly, the family was angry with the doctors for giving them such a scare when, as they discovered from a later diagnosis, there was no cancer present in his body.  Listening to her reaction, I was incredulous.  Why were they upset with the doctors for what seemed like a mistake instead of joyful in Christ for what may very well have been a miracle?  What if this man had truly had cancer, and after the church had prayed about it the Lord had answered our prayer and healed him.  What a missed opportunity for giving God glory!

         And while I may point a finger at this family for neglecting to praise God, I am guilty at times of neglecting to trust Him.  After all, God has already saved me and my family from a number of threats- some known, some unknown- yet I find myself worrying about what could happen in the future. I would do well to remember that there is a wall around me, and it is His faithfulness.

When my daughter was young she fell down a flight of stairs one day.  I immediately began to quote scriptures over her.  “Look,” she said through tears, presenting her pinky to me.  There was a tiny red dot on her finger.  It was the only thing she was upset about, except for maybe being scared.  Other than that, she was completely unharmed.  The same God who watched over her that day gives His angels charge over us today.

One winter, my parents-in-law were driving on a freeway in Houston.  They hit an icy patch and skidded sideways across several lanes.  Thankfully, their car came to a complete stop just short of crashing into the median.  There were no collisions, and they were not hurt in any way.  The same God that plotted the course of their car that day is riding beside us each time we are driving.

My sister’s car, on the other hand, was totaled one time when she was involved in a wreck.  She drove out to the median to turn left, and an 18-wheeler was blocking part of her view.  All of a sudden another vehicle hit her car causing it to spin around and strike the median, breaking off a chunk of concrete.  The impact was great enough to flatten a metal water bottle that had been in the back seat.  Thankfully, x-rays revealed no broken bones, but my sister was dealing with negative feelings after the wreck.  She resented that it had happened and felt unsafe in the car.  But then she heard God’s Spirit speak to her heart as she was talking with someone who happened to be missing some teeth.

“See, I didn’t even let you lose any teeth,” God pointed out to her.  She realized at that moment that she was meant to learn confidence rather than fear from her experience, because God had kept her safe, even through a dangerous wreck.  The same God that guarded my sister’s body also holds us safely in His own hands through the dangers we face daily.

      You probably have some stories of your own.  Have you had any close calls?  How have you or your loved ones been protected?  Maybe, if the times when God rescued you are still a mystery, you’ll be watching them in a Heavenly theater someday.  If so, save me a seat!  I’ll look forward to that premiere!

Written by Cynthia Butler