The dogs barked and woke me up. Again. Don’t get me wrong – this was a good thing. I am grateful that they would likely alert us to nocturnal intruders on our property.
Listening to the whir of the fan overhead, laying still in the dark, my mind wandered. Why do people walk down our street at all hours of the night? Or was it just a stray cat this time? Or maybe a random noise inside someone’s house.
But what if it was what we feared – someone jumping over our front gate? We heard that this happened on our property just a few weeks before our arrival here, so this wasn’t an unrealistic thought.
Our gate might as well have a sign saying “climb me” written on it, as even my six year old can scale it. And it doesn’t have razor wire on top of it like most of the gates on our street. Once inside the gate, someone would have full access to our property.
I could hear Tim’s deep, even breaths beside me, and I knew the kids slept peacefully down the hall; but I lay there awake. Vulnerable. What if someone got in? What if they didn’t want our laptop or television – what if they wanted money, and needed to wake us to get it? Or worse, what if a ransom was what they had in mind? After a quick trip to the window to make sure I couldn’t see anyone down below, I forced myself to lie back down and eventually went to sleep.
The next day, my spirit was still unsettled, so I poured myself a tall glass of lemonade and sat down with my Bible. I opened to Psalm 146 – my scheduled reading for the day as I read through the Bible chronologically. I stopped still at the beginning of verse 13:
For he strengthens the bars of your gates.”
I know the Psalmist was speaking of the gates of Zion, but in that moment, the Lord used the verse to remind me that He is in ultimate control of my family’s safety. Nothing is outside of His control – even my puny front gate!