Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: A MIGHTY FORTRESS (don't write about the song) (04/23/15)
- TITLE: The Safest Place to Be
By Trudy Newell
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We stepped out of the car, and the sun peeked out from the clouds to greet us. A frigid wind whipped our scarves and tugged at our coats. January in England, even in the south, is cold. Our daughter, Beth, had come for a visit. We took a few days off and vacationed in Brighton. Dover was only a short drive, and Beth wanted to see the white cliffs of Dover and Fan Bay Battery.
I had lived in England ten years, and considered it my adopted country. How many times had I been to Dover? How many times had a crossed the channel and watched as the white cliffs of Dover beckoned me back to England? Yet on this trip I woke up to the fact that the white cliffs were made of chalk, or limestone.
The White Cliffs of Dover are only 21 miles from France. No wonder it has been the first line of defense for England for over 800 years. The east cliff is a position of natural strength and has a commanding view of the channel.
We entered the lower levels that housed the operations room for Channel Command during the Battle of Britain in the 1940’s. I’m not a World War II buff. But I was enthralled to learn that Winston Churchill had a military operation and command center right here in the cliffs. These rooms were Winston Churchill’s personal war-time headquarters.
In 1941 the British had no idea that the bunker was not as safe as they thought. Radiation seeps right through limestone. But that’s okay, because the Germans did not have an atomic bomb.
The greatest story we heard that day was about the Miracle of Dunkirk in the spring of 1940. The mass evacuation of over 300,000 British and French troops paved the way for victory. Talk about Divine intervention! We stood there in the middle of the operations room and listened with awe.
As we drove away that afternoon, I thought about the need for a refuge, a safe place. My battles are as real as Winston Churchill’s. The scary part is I can’t see the enemy. How can you defeat an enemy that you can’t see? Sometimes I feel like there is no place to go! But that’s not true. I can say with the Psalmist:
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2 (NIV)
The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! Psalm 18:46 (NIV)
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2 (NIV)
I look back and remember what God has done for me in the past. He has protected me in the midst of danger, disease, discouragement and what seemed like financial disaster. God isn’t going to stop being my fortress now.
Now back in the States, we live out in the country. I’m new at being a country girl. The closest Walmart is twelve miles away and medical facilities further away yet. Our family is scattered all over the country. At times I feel isolated. But God is my fortress. He has provided me with a wonderful husband and a great church family. He provides, He leads, He guides.
Whenever we have had a need God has met it. Back in 2012 after our hearing tests, my husband and I discovered that we both needed hearing aids. I knew I needed new hearing aids, and that would be expensive enough. The price hit us like a bombshell, $8500 for both of us. We didn’t have that kind of money. Prayerfully, we signed up for the payment plan. To make a long story short, when we returned to pick up the hearing aids two weeks later, I was able to write out a check for the full amount. What a testimony to His provision and faithfulness.
No earthly fortress is completely secure. Radiation would penetrate Winston Churchill’s White Cliff bunker. Homes with a fortress-like security system are broken into all the time.
What a contrast to my mighty God. I am completely protected in the shelter of His hands. What a safe place to be.
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