By Ken Carlson, Atherton Resident since 2012

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength; an ever-present help in times of trouble.

Questions for reflection:

  • Do I have memories of God’s former protection and power in my life?
  • How can God’s “ever- present help” support me in my circumstance today?


Thought for today: 
It was a cool wintry fall day on a Minnesota farm. The crops had been harvested. The corn stalks were a golden brown, and the remains of the harvest lay scattered over the field. The cattle were turned loose to roam over the 160 acre farm to forage any food they could scavenge. I was a 12 year old boy who had been left in charge of the farm while my father lay in a hospital 25 miles away. It was about 5:00 in the evening when I went out in the field to round up the cattle and bring them home for milking. I walked past the grove and toward the corner of the farm about half a mile from the farm house. The sun had almost set and it was getting dark. I would have to hurry to get them home before dark.  Soon they began to follow the leaders and moved slowly in the right direction. Our bull could be obstinate, and I noticed that he was lagging back.  “What would I do,” I wondered, “if he decided to run at me and tried to gore me.” Looking around, I spied a haystack. I decided that the best solution would be to run for it and climb on top.

I glanced back where the bull had been eating and my heart gave a start.  Sure enough, he was bearing down on me with his head down and his horns in a charging position. I broke into a dead run toward the haystack. Glancing back, and it seemed that he was gaining on me. I was alone in the middle of the field with no one to help. With a tremendous effort I finally reached the stack and climbed to the top. The bull charged into the stack with a lunge but I was temporarily safe. The bull could not reach the top but kept circling the stack. I would go on the opposite side to avoid him. I started praying. “Please Lord help me!” I had experienced answers to prayer before but never in such desperate circumstances. It was getting dark now. My mother would start wondering where I was. If she would go out to look for me she could face the same angry bull with no defense at all. The bull kept circling the stack and snorting. I said, “Please Lord, send him away.” Soon he gave one final glance and started to walk slowly toward the barn area.

I didn’t dare to come down. I waited interminably for it to become dark and then started to walk quietly toward the barn. If he was still out here in the dark I could have a real problem. All the way, I kept praying for direction from the Lord to guide and protect me. Finally, I reached the edge of the grove that surrounded the house and barn. As I got to the door of the house I burst through the door and my mother was relieved to see me and inquired what had happened. I excitedly related the story to my family and told how the Lord had been with me through the whole ordeal.  That night thanked the Lord for his deliverance. To this day I can see so vividly that bull bearing down on me. Truly the Lord was my defense.