Safety in Numbers

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she lives with her pastor husband, two Golden Retrievers and a six-toed cat. She won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel will be released soon. Her devotionals have been endorsed by Mark Buchanan and Phil Callaway and have been widely published.

“Come quick!” My husband was calling from our living room where I found him staring out the front window, laughing and shaking his head. He waved me over.

Outside on the sidewalk was a neighbour’s cat. I’d seen him often, hunting birds near the small pond across the street. But this morning he wasn’t hunting. He was surrounded, by about fifteen large Magpies. They hopped around him as he crept slowly along the ground, his head swaying back and forth. I could almost hear his growling and just about imagine what he was thinking. His body language told us he wanted very badly to leap on one of those birds but he knew under the circumstances that would not be a good idea. The birds looked menacing, even from a distance. Watching them, I wondered if Alfred Hitchcock had ever seen a similar display. They kept up their ominous vigil, hopping all around him, leading him slowly along, seeming to dare him to do something. Then suddenly they took flight and roosted in a nearby tree. The cat sat still for a moment, then made a bee-line for home.

“Maybe there was a nest nearby, or an injured bird,” I said. “Whatever was happening, it’s obvious there’s safety in numbers.”

Safety in numbers. It made me think of Elisha’s servant whose eyes were opened to suddenly see “the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around” (2Kings 6:17).
Unless the Lord draws back the curtain as He did that day, we are all blinded to the spiritual realm while we are on this earth, but we can be assured that it is there. God’s armies are about us, his angels waiting to do His bidding on our behalf, His Spirit, living in us, ready to guide us forward according to His plan.

Even as I tap away at this computer, writing this devotional or finishing my next novel, I can know that they surround me, just as they surrounded Elisha that morning. In the Book of Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 1, the writer says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

There might be a snarling enemy close by, bent on my destruction, but I don’t have to worry. He’s surrounded too.