Thankful for my Defender

Thanksgiving ushers in reflection. Reflection on what causes gratefulness to rise up within us. Reflection on the past year. The ups, the downs, the progress or lack thereof.

This year, getting a handle on my health and exercise has been one of my greatest accomplishments and reasons for gratitude. I feel so much better! I can move better, and I enjoy being active. I have even started running with my husband and Molly. They want to run more often; I want to do it without feeling like I need to vomit. They went to a running coach for some tips and have passed them on to me. So far, so good. We have been running a mile at a time and practicing our form, cadence and breathing. The little metronome has been quite helpful in that it gives me something to focus on rather than focusing on how in the world I am even going to make it til the end of my run.

I am also super grateful for this past year and my time with the Lord and in His Word. I am in the book of Romans and just about five weeks away from finishing the whole Bible! I don’t read the Bible through every single year, but when I do it is one of my greatest joys and provides much spiritual growth.

One theme that I notice when I read through the Bible is God being our Defender, the One who fights for us, who prepares us for the “nexts” in our lives in ways we don’t even know at the time He is doing it.  He keeps us from dangers. He carries us through extremely tough times. He does the work.

2 Kings 6 tells a story about the king of Aram warring against Israel and wanting to capture and kill Elisha.

“He sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And Elisha’s servant said to him, ‘Alas my master! What shall we do?’ So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ “

{2 Kings 6:14-16}

I can so imagine what the servant was thinking. He’s looking around at the horses, chariots, and the great army and then he is looking at Elisha. Scratching his head, he looks at Elisha in disbelief.

“Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

{2 Kings 6:17}

Wow! Lord, I pray that You would open my eyes to see Your army of protection and rescue. I am not alone! I am worth being fought for. I haven’t always experienced that with earthly relationships, but never once has God given up on me or folded His arms and just decided that I was too tough a case. He is always fighting for my good and His glory. I am worth it to Him.

Psalm 141:8 “For my eyes are toward You, O God, the Lord; In You I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless.”

Psalm 142:2-4, 5b   “I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.Look to the right and see; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; no one cares for my soul…’You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.”

Psalm 18:2-3, 16-19, 28-30 “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies…He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay. He brought me into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me…For You light my lamp; The Lord my God illumines my darkness. For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him”

Psalm 139:5 “You have enclosed my behind and before and laid Your hand upon me.”

Psalm 3:3, 5&6 “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory and the one who lifts my head…I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about.”

Psalm 84:11 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Thank You, Lord, for being my Defender. Open my eyes to see You fighting for me. And for the times I don’t see it, help me walk by faith and know it is happening. You are my refuge and strength. You are a very present help in times of trouble, and I praise You for that! Amen.

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