“In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Put on the full armor of the God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly [supernatural] places.
Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your grand in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. So stand firm and hold you ground, having tightened the wide band of Truth [personal integrity, moral courage] around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness [an upright heart], and having strapped on your feet with the Gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
With all prayer and petition [specific requests] al all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
There is a protection and covering with Christ. There is a supernatural, unexplainable power in the Living God. My family has experienced this many times, but one instance rings true and no explanation will do. On the back roads of a country highway, our Lord covered His precious hand over our lives.
Every Thanksgiving our family drove forty-two hours round trip from Florida to Tennessee then Missouri and back to spend time with family and hunt deer during season. We all looked forward to this holiday as Tommy enjoys the cool outdoors, spending quality time with the children bow hunting and target practice. We attach a portable crate, to the back of our Hyundai Veracruz, holding all the suitcases, rifles, and ammunition needed for the three weeks or so we are gone. It is definitely a well needed get-a-way, although the drive can seem extremely long.
Winding through small towns on the back roads in Missouri, we enjoyed stopping at restaurants and cafes found only in the southern region. After a well deserved lunch break, our family piled back in the car headed to Tennessee. Driving along the country road, Tommy and I heard the sound of clanging against the back window. Thinking a strap had come loose from securing the luggage on the crate, Tommy pulled to the side of the road only to see several cars pull ahead of us to the side as well.
When my husband headed to the back of the car to find the strap, he raced up front to yell, “THE BULLETS ARE EXPLODING!” One of the plastic rifle casings had fallen loose from its strap and lodged between the extended crate and the exhaust pipe. The exhaust was causing the plastic case to melt and the bullets to explode. The “clanging” sound from the back of the car was the force from the bullet hitting the back door of the car as it shattered. Although the bullets had not force trajectory, it was a horrifying moment when the plastic case caught fire and fell underneath the car next to the gas tank!
I screamed for the children to get out of the car and ran them alongside the road to the cars which had pulled to the side to help. The drivers had seen the smoke from the back of the crate, called 911, and asked for the fire department. One driver, a sweet lady who saw me running along side the ditch with my three small children, opened her arms to take them as I ran back to the car for some sort of identification if it burned and was destroyed.
Tommy had grabbed his hunting knife from the console between the seats. He returned to the fire, cutting the straps and releasing the extra hunting gear, preventing more bullets from exploding and causing a possible fire hazard for passing vehicles. As I grabbed my purse, ID, and electronics, my mind was thinking of anything to identifying ourselves and the car to police. Bundling everything under my arm, no shoes and freezing, I headed back to the children when a young man passed me. Wearing a basketball jersey, shorts and black Adidas sandals in the middle of 40 degree weather, a tattoo caught my eye. The jersey tank allowed me to see the cross tattooed on his left shoulder.
I reached my children only to grab my littlest one, Matthew, who was crying, “My Daddy! My Daddy!” I looked back to see Tommy surround by a small fire and yelling at the young man, “Stop! There are bullets exploding!” The gentleman’s response was priceless, “It’s OK!”
Looking closer, he had a fire-extinguisher in his hand and began to put out the flames underneath the car and Tommy. Within minutes, the fire was out and the young man was gone. We never got his name, his address to send a thank you, and never saw him again when the fire department arrived.
We were back on the road driving to Tennessee within minutes. The whole scenario seemed like a blur! I was so proud of Tommy for putting his own life in danger for our family. His military training kicked in and he knew what needed to be done. The sweet lady who took my children, I thanked her repeatedly for pulling over to the side of the road and calling 911. We thanked the fire department and police for arriving so quickly with nothing to see. The one person we were unable to thank……the young man with the cross tattoo wearing a basketball jersey and Adidas sandals.
Before we leave our house, my family prays in the car. We pray for God’s protection, His blessing on our drive, to prepare the way, and if we can bless others along the way. That day, I remembered Ephesians 6 and the fired-darts from the enemy. How the luggage slipped, I do not know. Tommy used ratchet straps and zip-ties to secure the luggage so nothing could come loose. I was surprised to see the plastic case, gun, and bullets left after the fire. The back of our car looked like it had plastic ribbons hanging from the bumper, the fire melting the car from underneath. I have kept the bullets and the charred cartridge that fell behind the exhaust pipe as a reminder.
I believe our prayers protected us that day. God came within seconds and minutes to have us at the exact time and spot for a young man and his fire-extinguisher, the sweet lady helping my children, and the other passengers who called 911. Prayer is powerful! Coving yourself with the armor of the Lord, your family, and everything you own is amazing. No one leaves our driveway without praying. Tommy, myself or one of the children will always give God praise, glory, and ask for protection.
The Apostle Paul, who wrote to the Ephesians, described the armor of the Lord as a soldier dressed for battle. Your head is covered with the helmet of Salvation, the breastplate of righteousness covering your heart, the wide belt of truth, shoes of peace, shield of faith blocking all lies from the enemy and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
The Lord reminds me to put on my armor in prayer. I close my eyes repeating Ephesians 6, covering myself and my family. I desire our minds, hearts, and actions to be protected from spiritual warfare. I have prayed this prayer many times, especially during situations where I feel uncomfortable, during a restless trial, or when I feel depressed and desire to give up. The phrase “stand firm” always encourages my heart. For when I feel I have done everything I can in difficult times, then I have to stand on the Word of God, His Truth, and faith in knowing God is moving.
When encouraging women to stand firm with their armor of the Lord, the movie Braveheart always comes to my mind. Right before a battle, the Scotsman, William Wallace played by Mel Gibson, incites his countrymen to stand firm, holding, and waiting for his signal into battle. Eyes fixed and held steady on the approaching enemy, Wallace yells, “HOLD!”……. “HOLD!”…… “HOOOLLLDDD!” The Scotsmen held their ground at the sound of Wallace’s confident military command. They held fast until the time was right to strike and defeat the approaching enemy.
I would encourage you daily to be this Ephesians 6 woman. An armored woman, who calls to the Living God, protecting her mind, her heart, and her spirit from the lies and manipulation from the enemy. An armored woman who will pray over family and what God has given her. An armored woman, who no matter what may come against her, stands firm knowing who protections and comforts. An armored woman, prepared with the Lord’s weapons of His word, Scripture ready and prayed up. I pray this has blessed and encouraged you today to know, God protects and covers His people.