OUR SHIELD AND FORTRESS

The small, black kitten strayed into our yard while I was tossing a “nerf” baseball to Brady (6) and Broc (4) who were doing their best to hit a homer with their “nerf” bats. Brandt (2), who is terrified of cats, was standing right next to me; one fist tightly held on to my trousers and the other was clutching his “nerf” bat. Every time the kitten turned toward us Brandt would tug on my trousers and mutter, almost whisper, “woof, woof”. Then he would hide his head between my knees.

The dance around my legs – while I was trying to toss the “nerf” ball – went on for several minutes. Soon I was laughing so much I couldn’t continue. I picked up Brandt, hugged him, and he said, “Bad kitty!” This grandpa will cherish that memory (and laugh) for a long time.

It’s ironic that Brandt would be afraid of a kitten weighing less than two pounds which was probably quite intimidated by the two-legged boy weighing almost 20 pounds! If the kitten had come toward Brandt one swipe of the bat he was holding would’ve sent a convincing message.

Allow me to make two observations out of the many possibilities:

One – We are often fearful of people and things which, in perspective can do little eternal harm. Usually these are situations where God has made tools available to us, some of which we hold in our hands, like Brandt’s “nerf” bat, but instead we choose to hide. God offers us the opportunity to be equipped for living, but we want to live on our terms and end up being frightened of the silliest things.

Two – We often look at God’s moral order and declare it “invalid” and “out-of-touch.” We smile at a child whose is afraid of a small kitten but ignore the dangers of eternal consequence when we fail to practice self-control in the areas of morality, money, etc. Instead we flaunt our selfishness and pride claiming the “right” to decide what is right and wrong for ourselves.

There are so many things in this life which are frightening. We are often intimidated and panic-stricken by fear; a dread which can paralyze us. At those times we want God to be right there so we can hang on to his trousers, hide between his knees and, finally, pick us to assure us that everything will be OK.

In the middle of trepidation we need assurance – the palpable presence of God. We want Him to pick us up so we can whisper, “Bad world.” We want to be able to laugh in the face of fear.

God is there. He will never leave or forsake us. His love has no end and His grace has no boundaries. When we cry out to Him we will be heard. He does not sleep; is not distracted; we have no reason to fear.

David writes about the reality of God in Psalm 28:6-8

Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.

My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

The LORD is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

God knows your need. He knows about that situation or individual who seems to wander around like the black kitten. No matter what our situation, David reminds us that the antidote to our fear is the Lord’s strength. He is our shield and fortress. God understands our fears. May we be afraid of all the right things.

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