The Lord Is Your Guardian

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The Lord is my guardian. This is the sense that David, the psalmist, came to understand in his relationship with the Lord. David was no stranger to the difficulties, yes, even the life-threatening difficulties, of human existence. He understood, too, that sometimes those difficulties are beyond our control, that we need a guardian to watch over us, to guide, and to defend us. He came to know God as that guardian. And so do we.

ʺI raise my eyes toward the mountains.
From whence shall come my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
The maker of heaven and earth.ʺ

What greater guardian could there be for us than the very creator of heaven and earth, indeed, the one who out of love, created each and every one of us in our mother’s wombs? Who, indeed, would have more interest in our safety?

ʺHe will not allow your foot to slip,
Or your guardian to sleep.
Behold, the guardian of Israel
Never slumbers nor sleeps.ʺ

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No, we can be assured that God never slumbers, nor sleeps. We know that he has everything in creation in his mind at every moment, that because of this everything, including each of us, is sustained, nourished and protected. If he forgot anyone of us, even for a moment, we would cease to exist. His watchfulness is not that of a paid guard either. It is the watchfulness of a parent over his or her child. We are his children and he cares for us with a love that is beyond our ken.

ʺThe Lord is your guardian;
The Lord is your shade
At your right hand.
By day the sun will not strike you,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will guard you from all evil;
He will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your coming and going
Both now and forever.ʺ

What joy! Our guardian protects us in this life with all of its potential for suffering, its frailty, its fire and ice. But he protects also our souls. He does not know and love us outwardly merely, he loves and knows us in the intimate depths of our very souls. Yes, he protects and guards us from the onslaughts of human injustices. Yes, he protects us bodily, but even more, he protects and guards our eternal souls. He does that now through his Holy Spirit whispering in our consciences, guarding and guiding us away from sinful temptations. He does this out of a love that is eternal for each of us as his own child, whom he made to be with him forever in heaven. We, like David, have good reason to be joyful in this knowledge. Let us make that joy the ground out of which all of our actions and words find their meaning, and their strength. We are never alone. He, our gracious, and graceful guardian watches over us with loving concern in every moment and in every place. Hallelujah! Thanks be to God!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.