I mean good folks. Folks who mean quite a bit to the churches. Folks who are loving and kind. Folks who have been and will continue to be leaders.
So, this goes out to them, and their kin, and their friends.
I wondered, then, about protection for them. God's protection. God's merit. God's glory.
I read this: "When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. God's angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. Open you mouth and taste, open your eyes and see -- how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him."
I was mesmerized momentarily with this notion of circle of protection.
So, I went on a word search. David certainly thought God would protect him in times of great need. Over and over, he mentions it.
My favorite, I guess, is Psalm 98:18 -- "Yes, our protection comes from the Lord, and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our kind."
Or maybe it's, "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection."
The list goes on and on and on. Folks in trouble, crying out to a God who listens, who protects them.
Interestingly, in my efforts to word search protection, I came across a certain blog, mine own.
"I read in a friend's story in a Jackson, Miss., newspaper a couple of years back of the tornado that hit Macon County.
My friend quotes a woman from Shuqualak, Miss., Cindy Moore, about the aftermath. Her sister and niece were in a "cinder block building, going through items for a yard sale, only a few hundred feet from her home on Mississippi 21. “When I looked out, there was nothing left of it but a pile of rubble,” Moore said. “I went running as fast as I could. A family that I guess had been passing by stopped and was frantically digging through the debris. All of a sudden I saw my niece’s head pop up. Then I saw my sister trying to crawl out of it. Nothing but the grace of God kept them alive. There is no other way they could have survived that.”
Let's explore that a minute. Did God protect them from the storm? Does He? What about the person who was killed in Kemper County by the same storm? Was this person not cared for by God? Was this person not as "good" of a Christian.
What about God's protection for everyone?
Isaiah's prophecy says, "The Lord says to his people, When the time comes to save you, I will show you favor and answer your cries for help. I will guard and protect you and through you make a covenant with all peoples."
Written, of course, for Israel, but we (being) all peoples can take great happy, happy, happy as well with these words.
He will guard and protect us means that all the stuff that happens with seemingly great regularity is just that, stuff.
God's protection doesn't mean that nothing will ever happen to us. If none of us who have prayed for others to be healed so as not to die actually were healed and never died, we would run out of food on this planet pretty quickly.
God's protection, I think, is better suited to Romans 8: 28: We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose."
We can argue and debate what that means, too. But I believe it means that even if the storm whacks us like a bad Mafia show would, or even if Donald Trump gets the nomination, God can take that and make something good out of it. If we lose _________, God can take that circumstance and make something good.
Is that protection in the manner we would like it to be? Probably not. But it is God's way. It doesn't mean we won't go through stuff. It means we will make it through. Sometimes that's all it takes for those who love him.