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The LORD is my fortress! Don’t say to me, “Escape like a bird to the mountains!” Psalm 11:1 (CEV)

Huddled against a flickering fire, in the darkness of a cold, mountain hillside, a young boy listens to the night sounds while millions of stars flicker above. Alone, but not lonely, his thoughts gravitate towards his God. A song comes to mind and as he meditates on its words a cracking branch in the darkness snaps him back to reality. Taking a torch and his slingshot he goes to investigate. Minutes later, a roar is heard as a lion falls dead just feet from its prey, a sleeping lamb.

Years later, that shepherd boy, now an anointed king waiting his turn in the palace becomes the ire of the current king. His life in danger once again, his friends urge him to flee to the mountains he loved for safety.

The mountains were a place of security and a symbol of strength. The mountains were a place where the oppressed and abused would go because in the mountains it was much easier to protect yourself from your enemies. For David, they held a special advantage. They were home. He knew virtually every cave, every cliff, every hiding spot were danger come. The mountains and his trusty slingshot offered him all the protection he would need.

It seemed logical, to David’s friends, that when Saul began to threaten David’s life he should flee to the safety of the mountains. But when God is involved, logical isn’t the best way. To flee to the mountains would imply two things to David.

Fleeing to the mountains would imply that the mountains were David’s best source of protection. In David’s eyes, it was God that was the source of his protection, not the mountains. The rock on which David trusted was the strength of his God.

Fleeing to the mountains also implied that there was no more safety for David in the palace. To this I imagine David thought back to the day he was beckoned from the hillside to be anointed King by Samuel. David knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the palace was where he was supposed to be. When you are where God wants you to be in life, you are in the safest place possible.

The enemy of doubt and its accomplice, fear, want us to believe that safety comes by our own strength and our own cunning. The follower of Jesus Christ knows differently. Safety comes when we are where God wants us to be. Will trouble come? Certainly. But in the face of that trouble we can have peace because we know we rest in God’s arms of strength and safety.

To the world a strong bank account offers financial stability. To the world, good health and good medicine offer the best hope of a long, satisfying life. To the world, protection comes from physical strength. All of these are good, to be sure, but we as followers of Jesus Christ know our ultimate protection comes from a loving, omnipotent Heavenly Father. When we trust in him we have NO FEAR!!

PRAYER: Father the future scares me. The financial picture is bleak. The political atmosphere is terrifying. It seems there are more and more things that cause me to worry. Empower me with your spirit to put my trust in you, not necessarily in the wisdom of those around me. In the strong name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

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February 2012
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