Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…

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According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2012 Crime Clock Statistics, a burglary occurs every 15 seconds. A few years ago, my family was victim of that statistic.

What started as a typical summer day turned out to be one of life’s defining moments. Although some years have passed, and the fine details have become a little fuzzy, I still remember that day like it was yesterday.

I was the last person to leave my home that morning. My summer biology course didn’t start until late morning. My spirit must have sensed that something was amiss because I had unconsciously surveyed the perimeter of my house before I drove off to face what I thought would have been another typical day.

I spent the greater part of that morning and early afternoon in biology class. For anyone who has ever taken a summer college course, you can relate to the joys of trying to cram a semester worth of information into a few short weeks. It’s no wonder that by the time class was over, all I wanted to do was to head out of dodge. However, thank God for divine intervention. One of my classmates had missed lecture the week before and had asked me to copy my notes. I told her that she could borrow them and return them at the next class. She insisted that she would prefer to just make copies and be done with it. She didn’t want to be responsible for keeping them. I was slightly agitated. I just wanted to go home, but she insisted, and I complied. About an hour later, I headed home.

As I got out of my car, the first thing I noticed was that the side gate was ajar. It was closed when I left that morning. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on edge. I brushed off the sensation. I figured that there had to be a valid explanation. Maybe my dad had come home for lunch and had walked out back and had forgotten to close the gate behind him. Word to the wise, never ignore that spirit inside of you.

The layout of our old family home was an open floor plan. The front door faced the family room, and my parents’ bedroom was immediately to the right of the front entrance. That day, as I opened the front door, the very first thing that I noticed was that the blinds covering the family room windows were disheveled. Even with the evidence in front of me, I could not wrap my head around the idea that danger could be lurking in my home–my sanctuary.

My entry was pensive. I left the door open behind me. Somehow, I needed confirmation of what my spirit has already revealed to me. I made a deal with myself. The deal was, I would quickly peer my head into my parents’ bedroom, and I would leave upon any sign of a disturbance. I peeked. The room was ransacked, and I fled to the next door neighbor’s house where I called the police.

The nights following the event were the scariest nights that I had ever experienced. During the burglary, the thieves had removed the back windows, leaving an empty window frame. That evening, after the police had conducted their investigation, my parents called a few companies to have the windows repaired, but the window sizes were customized and the stores did not have the sizes in stock. We had to wait until they could be ordered. For what seemed like forever, we felt vulnerable to a subsequent break in. For me, nights were the hardest. Not knowing whether or not the criminals were planning to return was difficult. Eventually, we replaced the windows. The following year, we moved.

Earlier today, God brought that story to my memory. I remembered how fearful I was I nights. God also reminded me how He carried me and my family through. Those burglars never return, and my family and I were kept safe.

God never promised us that bad things would never happen to us on Earth. However, He did promise that He would carry us through and He would be with us during our darkest days. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4). Why? The verse goes on to give the reason why we should not be afraid, even in the face of death. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” No matter what trials we are facing, know that God is with us. He has not forsaken us. He is right there in the fiery pit. He is the same God today as He was yesterday. If He did it before, He will do it again.

Today, take heart, that no matter where you are, God is right there with you.

I can never escape from your Spirit!     I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there;     if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning,     if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me,     and your strength will support me, (Psalm 139:7-10, NLT).

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