In The Presence Of Enemies

To me, one of the worst sounds is a cat fight. The high pitched screams can make my skin crawl. To see the fight, a wild tumble of fur and claw, adds to the terror of the moment! Such a terrible sound came to my ears just two days ago. I ran to the window in time to see an intruder cat jumping on Blackie, our sweet-natured, black and white cat, who had been calmly eating his dinner. Everything went into a blur as the two became one in an entanglement of anger and fear.

I ran outside but the enemy cat was already sprinting away in a quick flash of white and gray. Blackie was no where to be seen until I peeked under the car. There he was, wide eyed, crouching, ready to fight or take flight. I called him. He didn’t move. I talked softly; still, he hunched unmoved in his fear.

I stood and went over to his food bowl. I straightened the towel under his bowl. I poured more food. I stood waiting for several minutes, calling for Blackie. Finally, there was my boy. I petted him, stroking his back. He kept looking around nervously; then he began to eat. Every now and again Blackie would look up, glancing around him. I kept stroking him, speaking tender words. He ate until he was full; stretched, and began his grooming routine. Then I started to walk away, but his eyes turned wild once more. I returned, again petting him, speaking calm words until finally, he was settled even when I turned to go.

When I got back inside, I went to the kitchen window to look out. There was Blackie staring at the window. When he saw me, he began to eat some more of his food. Blackie was obviously taking comfort and courage in my presence. In my presence he had confidence that the enemy would stay away, if only for a time.

Psalm 23 came immediately to my mind. Verse 5 says this, “You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.”

Oh, the fears of life that can paralyze us, rendering our minds unable to think clearly, or our wills to move us forward. We gaze about nervously. Perhaps it’s the enemy of worry: about family needs, friend’s in trouble, financial concerns, poor health. Worry is a joy robber. Like Blackie, when it attacks, we freeze, perhaps we hide ourselves away, until we remember, our Heavenly Father is always at home in our hearts. He will give us His own peace in the midst of the things that worry us. He speaks encouraging and soothing words. He gives us what we need today, and promises not to leave us tomorrow. In His presence there is always hope. In His presence we are safe, even in the presence of the enemies that plague our minds.

When the enemy strikes, let’s remember to turn our focus from the enemy of worry, and gaze into the peace and hope of our Father. He will anoint our heads with the oil of gladness, and our cup of need will overflow with blessings of hope and courage.

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