Her name was Judy Gaffney. The bully who lived in the apartments next to the house where I grew up. Judy dominated the pecking order of girls on East 81st Street. I was the youngest of the crew.
I’m not sure what I did to incite her wrath, but Judy had it in for me. Whatever caused it, I don’t remember. But one day she unleashed her fury toward me with a punch to the mouth. Cutting my lip and blackening my front tooth.
My cries reached my daddy’s ears. He stopped everything and came running. You could hear his heavy footsteps bounding across the yard. He reached down and took hold of me. He rescued me from my powerful enemy. Seeing my battle scars, the wrath of God was unleashed. Nobody better mess with his baby girl!
Whether my dad was bigger than Judy’s didn’t matter. My father put the fear of God in this man. Judy never bothered me again, although I would scamper in the opposite direction whenever she looked my way. When her family moved to another neighborhood, all of us kids celebrated her departure!
Judy was gone, but she had left her mark. My enemy’s scar revealed every time I smiled. A lasting remembrance of my first and last encounter with a fist. Thank God children grow new teeth.
I always believed my dad was bigger and better than all the rest. But this was the first time I saw his anger toward my enemy. He fought for me. He became my knight in shining armor. My protector. My advocate. Oh how He loved me!
My earthly father provided a beautiful picture of my Heavenly Father. I am reminded every time I read Psalm 18. It’s a lovely word picture David penned about his Warrior God. The God who fought for him and delivered him from his enemies.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for his help.
From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked…they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth…
He parted the heavens and came down…He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies…
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters;
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes who were too strong for me.
What threatening circumstances are you facing today? You have a Warrior Father on your side. Fighting for you. Preserving your life. Scattering your enemies. Rescuing you from your powerful foes.
All you have to do is cry out and He will come running.
That’s how much He loves you!