I was born with this innate desire to protect the people I care about, which is funny because I’m a female of average size with average strength and probably less than average speed. Yet, there are people I know I would step in front of to protect. I don’t know why the Lord saw it fit to get this trait to me, but I am thankful for it.
This morning read the story in Exodus when the Israelites fled Egypt and crossed the Red Sea. In this passage, in typical fashion, the Israelites began complaining about their situation, certain that the Lord had led them out into the desert to be killed. But then the Lord speaks:
And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night without one coming near the other all night.
Notice where the pillar of cloud went; I get goosebumps every time I read those verses.
I have very vivid dreams and many times the Lord uses dreams to speak to me, which is cool. Lately I’ve been having protector dreams where I’ll have to find and protect people who can’t protect themselves. This includes everything from transporting scared, crying women through a desolate, dystopian place to protecting young children from others seeking to harm them. Regardless of what the dream entails, I take up this posture: I take the back, I watch their six.
This is something that I naturally do even when I’m awake: I’m in the back. If I’m walking with a group of people, I’ll typically wait until everyone else has gone before setting off. When I leave earlier and am leading the group or even in the middle, it just feels wrong. When I’m bringing up the rear, I feel settled.
The Lord is our protector. He stands behind us and protects us. He fights for us when we can’t fight for ourselves and even when we can. He stands in the gap on our behalf.
But we’re called to do the same for others.
This morning I was convicted about my prayer life, or lack thereof. Praying for others is a vital way of protecting them. When was the last time that you truly interceded for someone, covering them completely, head to toe, in prayer? Whether this is a common or uncommon practice for you, I encourage you to take some time and cover others in prayer today.