July 28, 2011

All-Around Defense

Dark storm clouds prowled the western horizon, while the new day's sun ascended in the east. Summer bugs were buzzing about as I settled to do my current favorite thing, Peace for the Journey by Elaine Olsen.

The weather man gave me an hour at best to beat the rain. Jimmy and Dani were sitting on the front stoop waiting for her bus, so I scurried onto the deck with my coffee, Bible, Bible study, and 3 x 5 scripture memory verse cards. Thunder rumbled overhead announcing my time was swiftly whittling away, so I hustled through the study as fast as my little beetle brain could manage. Pausing to sit back and chew on a point Elaine brought to surface, I couldn't help but notice the many fortresses surrounding me on all sides.

The picture doesn't show, but Ecclesiates and Cocoa Bean were both sitting next to me, snug at my feet. I love studying on the deck with them at my side because, like personal body guards, they alarm without hesitation at anything out of place. With a natural instinct to protection their home and family, I leave them to filter the surrounding so I can concentrate.

With the dogs as my first layer of defense, another barrier stood tall in a planter just an arm's length in front of me, our citronella plant. Did you even know such a thing existed? I'd never before stopped to ponder where citronella came from until the day we went tomato plant shopping and stumbled upon this green guard. I snatched it up at lightening speed, with full intent on placing it on the deck to wart off summer's vexing mosquitos. I'm happy to report it's proven to be a very affective repellent. When I sit on the deck at night I go to the plant, rub the greenery between my fingers, and wipe the citronella scent on my ankles and arms. I've not been bitten once thus far. I love it!

Dark clouds continued to invade, the table umbrella was unfurled, nature's bushy mosquito repellent sat inches from my face, and two canine body guards rested on each foot, leaving me physically quite safe. Another citadel, however, was also in place, the very reason I'd gone out on the deck in the first place, God's holy Word. Poised and ready to feed my spirit, scripture was at the ready to protect me from an invisible enemy. While outer protection tends to be a more natural instinct, we must never underestimate the hidden battles that await us each new day. After all, balance is key to success and what good is physical health if our spirit is helpless and vulnerable?

Stormy weather, chiggers, and intruders don't hold a candle to our unseen enemy, which is why daily time with God is of utmost importance. What a privilege to hold the word of God in our hands and hearts as we walk through life, for it is with this wisdom our enemy is defeated.

I'm truly enjoy Elaine's Peace on the Journey. Now please share. What study are you enjoying this summer and how is it teaching and touching your heart?


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Wow... I wish I was with you on that porch where we could defend one another with our well-rehearsed, well-loved faith! I can't tell you how much this blesses me, sista!

I haven't done an organized Bible study this summer; haven't had time. I do enjoy my daily doses of Spurgeon, Chambers, Sarah Young, but I am going to start yours very soon. I wish we could do it together!

Would appreciate your prayers as I continue to edit and work on my latest book project. There was some interest at the conference, but I need to bolster my strength for possible rejections. Mostly, I just want the work to be publish worthy and I want to get it into the hands and hearts of cancer patients.


Cheryl Barker said...

Nancy, I've never heard of a citronella plant. Love the way you can rub its leaves and then put the scent on yourself. Sounds like something I need -- the mosquitos love me! :)

And the Word of God -- indeed a privilege to hold in our hands and hearts. So glad our Father walks with us!