“You’re surrounded! Come out with your hands up.”

Hopalong_cassidyI’ve seen far too many Westerns. As a child, a picture of Hopalong Cassidy hung on my bedroom wall. What?! Who’s Hopalong Cassidy? He was called the Western knight. Dressed all in black with shiny silver six-shooters on his hips, he sat tall on a beautiful, white stallion.

Then there was the Lone Ranger and his wonder horse, Silver, who saved Lone_Rangerthe day on a weekly basis. Even as a child I wondered why no one could ever identify him. His black mask covered only his eyes and, yet, every show ended with him riding off after a heroic rescue, as onlookers wondered, “Who was that masked man?”

The neighborhood kids and I would play Roy Rogers and Dale Evans for hours, continuing the drama day after day. We formed posses, arrested bad guys and stopped bank robberies.

More Westerns followed: Gunsmoke, the Rifleman, Bonanza. Full length movies were even more exciting – pioneers fighting the elements and resisting rich land owners as they eked out a life in log homes, renegade outlaws shooting up the town or robbing the stage coach, wagon trains circling up under Indian attack and the thrilling sound of the Cavalry bugle coming to the rescue.

There was always a hero on a mighty steed who made sure good prevailed. John Wayne, or some other Western hero, would call out, “You’re surrounded! Come out with your hands up.”

All this reminiscing down the great Western trail started this morning when I read Psalm 3. The psalmist pinpointed what I was feeling when he said, “I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side” (v6). Surrounded – the enemy on every side with no cowboy hero on the horizon, just tens of thousands of threatening challenges.

But instead of coming out with his hands up in surrender, the psalmist raised them in prayer, and cried out, “Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God!” (v7)

As real as his enemies (trials) were, he placed his confidence in a greater reality (v8,3):

“From the Lord comes deliverance.”

“You are a shield around me, O Lord;

You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”

Standing between the psalmist and the menacing challenges, was the Lord, his Shield and Deliverer.

You may be dodging bullets, feel arrows whizzing past your head, or be getting low on ammo, but stop and listen! In the distance is the clear cry of a bugle.

White Horse Tim Paulson

Picture by Tim Paulson

The King of Calvary is bringing deliverance and it is the enemy, not you, who will be broken and surrender.

As for you, child of the King, the Almighty God will bestow His glory on you and lift your head. Wait and watch for the Lord’s salvation.

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