God is my defense

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     In 1990 I commited my life to Jesus.  Shortly there after God ministered Proverbs 1:23 to me,"Turn you at my reproof : behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.".  I began reading and studying at home, mostly in the evenings.  Once God opened His word to me I couldn't get enough. I had a ranch with three hundred ewes to care for and  I was working 8 hours a day at the sugar factory. We had two small children, so I had far to little study time to suit me. It was frustrating that I didn't have more time. I used to write down verses on 3x5 cards and carry them around with me. If no one was looking I'd pull one out and read it. Then I'd try to meditate or memorize it,  usually to no avail.

     This went on for just a couple of months, then God gave me a new position at the sugar factory, along with a raise. My new job was isolated from all other positions. I was on the top story and I had to stay in an area appx. 20x20 ft. I had to read a few gauges from time to time and do a couple of other things. In all, I  would actually work less than an hour in a eight hour shift.  When I made the move I also aquired a new foreman. For the first couple days I just stood around totally bored.  My shift supervisor came by one day to check on me and he said that I should bring plenty of reading material with me. The next couple shifts I brought several magazines. My foreman would check in from time to time and he seemed friendly enough. We'd visit a couple minutes, two or three times a shift. He would often pick up one of my magazines and read it for a few minutes, so everything seemed o-k with him. One day I decided that reading magazines was a waste of time, so I'd use this opportunity to do lots of bible reading.  This was going good for a few weeks. If I saw someone coming I'd quickly hide my bible to save myself any embarrassment, after they'd leave I 'd start again.  The day finally came when I wasn't going to be ashamed any more.  I was reading and here came my foreman.  I pretended not to see him. He walked up just close enough to see what I was reading then turned and hurried off.  I didn't see him any more that day, but the next day the same thing.  The third morning he came over and falsely accused me of some things and I quickly let him know that he was wrong. We had a short but somewhat heated argument. I had quit better jobs than that one and was all for leaving at the time.  The factory manager saw what was going on and he asked me about it. Afterwards I saw that he had my foreman cornered and up against the wall. I couldn't hear what they were saying but he was giving him the whatfor.  The next morning all was over as far as I was concerned as I'm not one to hold grudges.  I'd been at work about ten minutes when here came the foreman with fire in his eyes. I was sure that the fight was on, but he came up and said " you enjoy reading your bible today 'cause this is your last day here, I'm going to fire you before this day is over".  As he walked away God reminded me that he was my defense, I didn't have to fear. Then I remembered the words of 2 Chronicles 20:15 ,where God said be not afraid or dismayed , for the battle is not yours but God's. Then God put in my heart to do as Jehoshaphat did when the three armies came against them. I begin singing "Praise the Lord; for His mercy endureth forever",( 2 Chron. 20:21 ). Over and over I'd sing, then when I couldn't sing any longer I'd just say it. That shift ended and I hadn't seen the foreman again that day, so he hadn't fired me. That was on a Friday. I had the weekend off, then returned to work Monday morning.  I was there for a couple of hours and still no sign of a foreman.  Then the shift supervisor came up and informed me that my foreman would never return to work again, and that I'd get another one in a few days. I knew that it was not the foreman that hated me but the spirits in him. I knew that it was God who defended me.  He has defended me many times since then, I will always be thankful for His ever enduring mercy.