The unseen hand of God ...

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust.'"
(Psalm 91:1,2)

I can't take an ounce of credit for it, but it's just too good an illustration to pass up.

A pastor was taking his first trip on an overseas mission. The country? South Africa, where he'd spend his first night in that country's legendary Kruger National Park.

Sounds great, yes? And it was, at least at the beginning. The pastor ate a traditional African feast outdoors in the splendorous beauty of the savanna. Then it was off to bed, in cabins whose windows were left open to allow the night air to keep things cool inside.

But therein lied the problem ... in the middle of the night, without warning, the thunderous roar of a lion shattered the calm. The pastor's eyes sprung open at the sound, then remained wide-eyed in terror -- for what protection did a small cabin provide an American preacher from the king of the jungle ... especially considering that open window?

Fear? You don't know fear like this. The pastor shuddered with it, lying still in his sweat, most of which came not from the African heat but with the terrible knowledge that he'd make much easier prey than a fleet-footed gazelle.

He lay awake the rest of the night, hearing the lion's roar many other times. But never did it seem to get any closer. Only when he left the cabin in the morning after hearing the others milling about did he learn why.

See, the campsite was, in fact, a compound, surrounded on all sides not only by a very high and very strong steel fence. Not just that, but at the gate were armed guards, all of whom told the pastor later that they'd not only heard the lion's roar, they'd monitored his whereabouts, too, just to ensure the missionaries' safety.

Now, here's word-for-word what was written about this story in this month's Discipleship Journal:

"Scripture likens Satan to a roaring lion that seeks to destroy. The world is full of the evidence of his violent attacks. Yet against those who seek their salvation and safety in the Lord, Satan is like the African lion fenced out of the camp: he can parade his strength, but he can never actually carry out his threats. His roar serves only as a reminder of what he can do if we do not seek our refuge in God."

Hey, we may not always feel -- or see -- God's protection, but rest assured ... it is always there.

Want to have that protection? What that blessed assurance? Read Romans 10:9,10, click on the link "How do I become a Christian?" on your right or send me an e-mail. I'll be happy to introduce you to my friend, Jesus. He's the biggest fence there is.