Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Strife Is O'er"1 (Lyrics)
Acts 18:10 – For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city. (NIV)
While I was growing up in a small town in the western part of Washington State, USA, walking was the rule; there was hardly a time when the car was removed from the garage. Even as a child, I walked on my own with confidence, not afraid of what might be lurking behind the bushes.
Shortly before my daddy passed away, he gave me a wonderful Collie/German Shepherd puppy. Her name was Peggy. Before long, we became inseparable. I always had the scruff of her neck clutched in my hand wherever we walked. Peggy was my faithful companion.
It was a sunny and warm afternoon for a girl and her dog to take a walk. After some distance, a man pulled up beside the sidewalk and asked where a particular street was located. Thinking nothing about his request, I told him how he could find the street. Shortly thereafter, he pulled up again, saying that he still could not find the street and asked me to go with him. I told him "No", and suggested that he go in the direction I had previously suggested or ask someone else.
In my young mind, I thought that that was the end. In no time at all, he was there again, and this time, he did not say a word. He opened his car door and started to get out. He had "kidnap" on his mind. Peggy was very aware and stepped in front of me, bared her teeth, and gave a very deep growl. Clearly, the man did not want to challenge my much-loved Peggy — she would have given her life for me. He got back in his car and left, never to be seen again.
Often, throughout the years, I have thought about this incident. I've come to realize that I had another, more powerful companion that day; even the growl of my faithful canine companion did His bidding. Many times since then, God has rescued me from physical danger. Even more importantly, it was for the purpose of rescuing us from spiritual danger that He sent His Son into the world.
I share this story so that you may believe and be encouraged that Jesus is our guardian and that He is with us wherever we go. I am reminded of these comforting hymn words: "Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast."
In Matthew 28:20b, Jesus said, "I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (NIV)
Now look at a terrifying situation in your own life. How did our Saviour appear to you in that moment?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, grant us the grace to know that You will always be our guardian and protector. We thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Teach us to trust You more each day as we commend our lives into Your loving care. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.