While admiring the farms spread all across Illinois, they made me think of that hedge of protection. I don't know whether you have witnessed them before, but just as in Kansas, when they built their home and farm, they planted trees all the way around it in a square. Well, these trees grow huge and they appear as a hedge all around the home and barns. They do this to block the wind from the storms that approach. Without this hedge of protection there would be nothing to guard against the dangers that blow in unexpected.
In Illinois as well as in Kansas these farms are out in the wide open flat lands. Where tornadoes form and run for miles, leaving nothing but rubble. Out in the wide open they are in perfect position for attack. Just as we are out in this wide open world. Just a little wind can do mighty damage, unless we are prepared before the storm and ready for those winds. If we are on watch we can see them coming before they hit. That hedge will form a cushion.
These farms are just simply beautiful to me. I would like to travel the country land and hear the stories of the people who farmed this land and all God has protected them from. Everyone has a story to tell. As I watched each one scattered across the green lands it reminded me of that prayer. That conversation between me and God.
We often see the attacks coming, but what if we prayed for the Lord to place a hedge of protection around us every morning when we woke? What if that was our first prayer? We must be on guard. We must be aware of all that is around us and be ready for those winds that seem to blow in out of no where causing devastation as they twist and turn everything upside down. As a matter of fact, we never realize how strong the storm until it's over and we see the davastation. Everything that was once in place and in perfect order is now in disarray. We now find ourselves piecing everything back together.
That hedge made of trees not only protects from the winds, but from the heat of the day. It gives shade and brings a coolness that makes you feel refreshed. Those farmers knew exactly what they were doing. Maybe they had seen the devestation before on other unprotected farms. Maybe they had been on the receiving end of the dangers of the storms and through their own experiences they now know how to keep them away and what will shelter them from the storm.
Too many times we just wake and we don't give thought to praying for protection. We can surrender all to God and place every single aspect of our lives in His hands. In doing so we are showing Him we not only trust Him, but believe in Him. A storm will brew and blow in and we find ourselves asking, "Where in the world did that come from?" Well, we may not know where it came from, but what if we were more prepared through prayer? We need to protect ourselves from the storms of this world. We need to guard ourselves against Satan, who is only here to kill us. He doesn't just want us destroyed, he wants us dead. Now, you can take that as a literal form or you could take that as being dead in our faith. We can be walking dead and not have a care in the world.
God has too much for us. He wants to see us grow and prosper in everything we do. We must place on that armor and stand guard. Sure, those winds will still blow. The rains will still come. The difference is we will be prepared. We will be grounded in our faith and know that God will provide. He will protect us. This world can take much from us. Really, it can take about just about everything. The one thing it cannot take is our faith. Our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He will stand strong against the strongest winds and rains. Leaving us with a rainbow of hope to see. Reminding us that He is God. He is Creator. All that He does is beauty. If He can turn ashes into beauty, He too can calm the winds and quiet the storm. He can soften the blow and give us strength to stand without fear.
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, ..." Psalm 91:1-16
"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you." Psalm 5:11
"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him." Psalm 18:30
"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah" Psalm 32:7
"Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed." Psalm 57:1