One of my great delights as a writer is promoting the work of other writers. But with so many books, it’s hard to read them all. So when an Ohio author I’d never met, Elaine Starner, reached out to me by email and asked whether I’d be interested in reading one of the four books in her Hope Knows devotional series, I wasn’t sure I had time.
Then I read one of the tiles, Can God Be Trusted? It’s a question I wrestle with, so I eagerly requested the book. In the section ‘Safe Passage’ Starner recounts Scriptures, stories and thoughts about God’s protection. What I discovered was so well written and encouraging, I want to share a passage from an entry entitled, ‘In Our Camp.’
“He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me,” Starner begins with a quote from Psalm 18:19. She then recounts how, after the Israelites left Egypt, Moses gave God’s people guidelines for keeping their camp clean, explaining, “The camp must be holy, for the LORD your God moves around in your camp to protect you and to defeat your enemies,” (Deuteronomy 23:14).
“Does He still move around in our camps today, protecting us by actively engaging the enemy in battle?” Starner asks. “When we pray the prayer for this section—Keep me safe, O God—can we depend on Him?
“I can tell you what I believe, what my hope is certain of… but instead, hear the words God has given to reassure us,” says Starner. She then recounts five Scriptures that affirm that God hears the prayers of ordinary people and promises to protect those who call on his name.
“As a matter of fact,” Starner says, “nearly every one of the early Christian letters includes the hope of God’s protection. The recipients of these letters needed desperately to hear that assurance. Their decision to follow Jesus had put them under attack from every side.
“This is just a small sampling of God’s words,” Starner continues. “The Bible, beginning to end, is saturated with this theme that God protects His people.
“The clincher for me?
“Jesus prayed for God’s protection over me.
“Yes! He prayed for me! And for you! In the agonizing hours when He was fighting His own spiritual battles, He prayed for protection from the evil one for everyone who follows Him.
“‘I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. I am praying… for all who will ever believe in me’ (John 17:15, 20).
“I am amazed and awed every time I read that.
“Is God moving around in our camps to protect us and defeat the evil one? Is He setting a guard around your path today?
What an awesome image – God, moving around my house and work to protect my family and guarding my path, wherever I go.
Taken from Can God Be Trusted? Copyright © 2018 by Elaine Starner. Published by JPV Press, Winesburg, OH 44690. Used by permission.
Pull-out quote: Jesus prayed for God’s protection over me.
Meadow Rue Merrill, author of the award-winning memoir, Redeeming Ruth, writes for children and adults from a little house in the big woods of midcoast Maine. The Backward Easter Egg Hunt, the second book in her Lantern Hill Farm picture-book series, is available for preorder now. Connect at www.meadowrue.com