The Power of His Protection The Power of His Protection

Posted by Dalene Reyburn on September 29, 2017 in Contributing Author, Faith, Wisdom

I’m South African. And some years ago, my husband’s family became another crime statistic when they were violently attacked in their home.

The event changed us irrevocably.

I wept over my in-laws’ accounts of a night of horror, and walking with them through the trauma of what they’d encountered in the hour and a half that they were tortured and victimized put lead in my soul.

I love my country. It’s one of the truest things about me.

I love the dust and the twilight cries of hornbills. I love that people strike up conversations with strangers in queues. I love that you can drop in at someone for tea without calling before, and it’s okay to arrive in your slippers. I love the zest and entrepreneurship that fires our economy. I love the sounds of our languages and the opportunities there are to make a difference. I love the music and the rugby, the vast ruggedness, the big skies, and the milk tart with cinnamon.

But the violence inflicted on those we love left me feeling betrayed, forsaken, fearful, angry and incredibly sad as I tried to reconcile the violence and the beauty and the promise of God’s protection that had somehow fallen short.

We believe God wants us on African soil. Our roots run deep. But for the first time I questioned Him:

How do you want us to live here? And raise kids here?

I accept that for some the answer – the calling – is emigration. That’s okay. But still for me – for now or forever – when my mind Googles why, sadness, anger and unfair, the search engine keeps bringing up the same two sites:

Faith and Stay.

David writes in Psalm 27:

‘The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid.’

And then this bit:

‘Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.’ (Psalm 27:3)

And so, although we still mourn for our country – and maybe you’re mourning for yours? – we choose to put our hope in God, not man. We choose to believe that God can heal and protect. We choose to continue praying for our nation and government (and insurance policies).

We choose not to allow lawbreakers to rob us of our joy and our resilience, because these are the things that make us African. More than that –

These are the things that characterize us as Jesus-followers.

We choose to accept that, although the darkness is deepening worldwide, God is raising up a people who will stand in the power of His protection.

We choose to recognize that, for as long as God has work for us to do here – in my country – in your country – on this planet – He will keep us safe enough to do it. We choose to notice the beauty and brilliance amidst the brokenness.

I don’t know why God allows certain paths of evil to run their course. But I do know He’s perfect in love, power and wisdom. He causes all things to work for the good of those who love Him. Even in the ordeal that so stirred us we saw His miraculous protection and the post-traumatic blessings.

Jesus said, ‘Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.’ In this wrecked world where crazy, terrible things happen, there are no guarantees. No knowing if or when we’ll come to harm, and what our Savior’s overcoming protection will look like. He may intervene in time and space – miraculously – to save our skins.

For sure, He will intervene eternally to save our souls.

So perhaps I’ll be high-jacked on my way home. Perhaps the sunset will be magnificent. Certainly, I will be still and know that He is God.

Dalene ReyburnDalene Reyburn


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