Straight from the Protective Heart
By Lisa Elliott
I was recently out for a walk on a nature trail located close to where I live. I needed to take a deep breath amid an intense time of ministry. I was also on a mission this particular day. My youngest daughter was fasting and praying concerning some decisions she had to make and I told her she could count on me to pray with her. My son was also making decisions concerning the next step of his future and I had already committed to pray for him. And my oldest daughter, carrying our first grandchild, needed my prayers of protection over her more than ever, especially given the nature of her job.
It was a cool day, but sunny enough that I could experience the sun’s warmth on my face. My prayer as I left my house was, “Lord, how are you going to speak to me today? What truth are you going to infuse into my heart? What piece of your creation are you going to use to impress Your Word upon my heart?”
Often it’s while I’m out for a walk with the Lord that He provides me with writing and speaking material! That’s how Jesus did it! He was always using creation as the subjects of His object lessons. So I had my pen and paper in hand, ready to take dictation.
For the longest while, I walked along simply enjoying the fresh air and God’s quiet presence with me. Then I looked up into one of the trees along the path. It was broken in half due to the winter winds. However, it was still intact where it was broken; providing enough of a platform to hold the significantly sized nest it supported. I’m not sure why I stopped to look, but when I realized what I was seeing, I was glad I did. There, perched on the top of the nest was a large bird. Perhaps a hawk, but it was hard to tell from the distance where I was standing. I paused for a long, drawn out moment, watching her as she watched me. There she sat, hovering over her nest, daring anyone or anything to threaten its contents; likely eggs or her young. Hmmm… much the way I was feeling regarding my own children that day—prayerfully protective. It was that moment the Lord chose to speak into my heart. He began flooding my mind and filling my soul with verses such as “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:4).
Then He reminded me of an impression He had placed upon my heart years earlier, from 1 Chronicles 9:22-27 regarding my responsibility to protect my household. Similar to the gatekeeper of the house of the Lord, He instructed me to guard the gates of my house. He entrusted me with the responsibility for the rooms and treasuries within. I was to spend the night stationed around the house…to guard it; and keep hold of the key for opening it each morning.
Praying for protection over my kids was something I had done from the time they could step beyond my reach. As they began school, every morning I would pray Philippians 4:6-7 over them; that the Lord would guard their heart and mind in Christ Jesus… and give me peace as I released them out into the world.
I remember praying, one-by-one, for my kids’ protection shortly after my 19-year-old son died of leukemia. When I got to my son, Ben, I began to weep, realizing that I no longer had to pray for His protection. He was in the very physical hands of Jesus now and safer than he’d ever been here on this earth under my watchful eye. While grief swept over me, I also experienced a deep sense of peace that I no longer had to worry about him. The Lord had him completely covered and assured me of this through Deuteronomy 33:12, “About Benjamin he said: ‘Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.’”
When I returned home from my walk, I decided to read through Psalm 18. It put the exclamation mark on all that the Lord had spoken into my heart. Why don’t you take some time to read through that Psalm right now? Take note of how protective the Lord is of His children. My prayer is that you’ll find refuge under the shadow of His wings.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org