Jesus is always there as our protector


Jim Honeycutt

Chaplain-Baptist Minister

It feels as if she has always had my eye. Though she captured my heart the day she came into this world, keeping me prisoner since the first moment I held her. A very content, proud captive. Standing in the delivery room and looking into her newborn gaze, my heart was surrendered. Somehow, I knew my life was never to be the same.

This affection I felt towards my daughter was more than just biological, it was rooted in divine love. A love her mother and I shared was a love imprinted upon our hearts by the Creator of Life, a love intended to grow within her heart as she matured. Walking with her as she matured and blossomed into a woman, my heart’s hope never waned, for the joy I experienced at watching her kept me captivated.

As a young child, she would sit as close as she could when she wasn’t in my lap. And if I laid on the couch while watching TV, she was on top of me. She looked to me not only for comfort when the tears flowed, she shared with me all her emotions, the laughter of her young heart on a sunny day, the fear of the unknown on a stormy night. She found early on that when she looked for safety, I was there.

But my sharpness lately seems to be off. The clarity at which I used to see things, the ability to see through others’ words and get to the root of the intent is harder these days. A mist of confusion clouds the thoughts of reason, and it very much feels like I am under attack. Age has not only slowed my physical reflexes it has changed my processes of thought.

I remember a number of years ago when my daughter was about 16, the family drove to the Texas coast for vacation. Deciding to take a dolphin tour once we were there, my daughter got out of the truck to stand in the ticket line while her mother and I waited. Not long after getting in line a car of young men, out for fun, drove by. Upon seeing her, one of the 20-something occupants whistled while they quickly turned around.

My daughter might have been focused on getting dolphin tickets. I, on the other hand, was focused on the car of young men. Not realizing who they parked next to (Father, Protector, Champion), several of them got out and made their way up the line till one of them stood behind my daughter. Once they passed by, I got out of my truck, made my way along without saying a word, stood where my daughter could clearly see me when she turned around. For I knew very soon she would be searching for me.

The young man with intent set on his prey, began speaking to her using sleazy seductive words. No sooner had the words left his mouth my daughter turned her head, our eyes locked and she said to the young man, “I wouldn’t be talking to me if I were you!” Motioning towards me with her head, she once again fixed her gaze on me. Slowly turning my way, the young man saw the intensity upon my face, the look in my eyes and froze. Standing firmly, I communicated to him my resolve without saying a word. Silently, he turned and walked back to his car, retrieving his buddies as he went.

I wish I could say that in all things I can protect my daughter, but the fact of the matter is that I can’t. Not only is it physically impossible, my understanding of what is best is jaded by a tendency of selfishness and lack of clarity on what needs to be done. As she has grown and matured, I have found myself praying more and more for Christ’s work within her to provide the guidance and protection she needs.

Although my fatherly joy may have come from her looking to me as her provider, the truth is she needs the Lord of Providence. The most important thing I could possibly teach her is that our eyes must be fixed not on the circumstances of the present day, but on the Hope of Salvation which is Jesus Christ our Lord. In the moments we find our attention distracted, it is comforting to know His gaze never leaves us.

The singer/songwriter Keith Green sang, “Oh Lord, You’re beautiful. Your face is all I seek. For when Your eyes are on this child, Your grace abounds to me.” 

It is the Grace and Mercy of God that flows to those that fix their gaze upon the Author, Sustainer of the Faith Jesus Christ. Where we focus, our feet follow.


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