“I protected them and kept them safe” John 17:12 (NIV)
One sunny afternoon near suppertime on the farm the cows came running home in a desperate hurry. There was only one explanation for their obvious fright. A black bear somewhere back on the cow path had decided that they looked good for supper and tried to separate one of them from the herd for a kill and subsequent feast.
As long as bears left us alone on the farm we treated them with the same courtesy. However when they chased our cows we could not milk them properly that night and we also ran the risk of losing one of them at the claws of the bear. If it was the bear or one or more of our cows, the decision was a no brainer.
My uncle went into the dining room of the farmhouse, took down the old Winchester model 92 and grabbed some shells for the 44-40 calibre rifle. Stepping outside he loaded the empty gun, pumped a live cartridge into the firing chamber, clicked on the safety and off we went. I had the dog on a leash and we retraced the tracks of the cows to where the dog could pick up the scent.
I felt very safe as a young lad knowing that the slug from the rifle was more than a match for the predator we were hunting and also that my uncle always hit what he shot at. The culprit was soon found and dispatched. Now it would never harm one of our cows.
Have you ever been in a situation of life-threatening danger and felt safe? When I had that experience with the bear it was the first of several situations where I felt the danger but had peace. When I had my attack of appendicitis I knew it would have been fatal if I had not gone to the hospital. Once there I was again peaceful knowing the surgeon would resolve the problem and I would soon be well.
Jesus allowed the disciples hear these words in His prayer in order to help them understand just how safe they were in this world because He and His Father were tending to their care. Life is full of dangers for us such as financial reversals, health issues, friends abandoning us, loss of reputation, and so on. Many of these things simply cannot be seen on our radar before they suddenly emerge and threaten us.
We may have insurance against many of the less pleasant alternatives in life but that is an admission that we are unable to stop certain tragedies from invading our space and ruining our lives one way or another. We realise that we cannot stop some things from happening so we make provision for the uninvited event should it appear on the horizon.
Jesus is not talking here about being a life insurance policy for His people or a benefit package in case of some disabling accident occurring. His view is on other things than that. He will twice say in a moment that His people are not of this world. John 17:14, & 16. What then is the protection that Jesus speaks of here? Well, it is the sin and corruption that is present in the world. Jesus desires us to be protected from the sin that twists everything into opposition to God. Jesus desires us to be like Him, holy and morally pure.
Do you have this protection that Jesus offers to all who enlist Him to guide them through life? Is it your first resolve in life to live for the One who offers the best protection in the world? Or do you merely seek Jesus to fix the current problem you face? Do you merely wish to have Jesus come aboard now and then to bail out the boat?
Jesus’ interest in you is for greater things than that. Jesus is able and willing to solve problems you have that matter for eternity not just for time.
Are you willing to come and find in Jesus resources and protection that are forever? He receives all who come. Only those who come receive the best protection in the world. Come, and come today