“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1Peter 5:8 NLT

It was a cold dreary morning some years back. Towards the end of February. I was out on my morning run. I remember it well. I had just celebrated my fiftieth birthday, ran my first half-marathon, and was nursing a terrible case of the shingles.

I was running my favorite route. Scenic and rolling. Steam rising off the lake.  I knew every nuance of this particular route. The slant of the road. Tennis court hill. “Elvis” hill, steep and winding, where Elvis’s Burning Love blasts loudly through my ear buds. The “beast”, straight up and long, where you see stars at the top. The last turn towards home.

I had made the last turn, was headed in, when I heard the growl. In my peripheral vision I see two very large dogs. Hair standing up on the back of their necks, ears pinned, growling, poised for the chase.

As they take off, with heart pounding, I pick up my pace. I hear a lady in her bathrobe yelling for them to come back…they really don’t bite…they’ve had their shots. Uh huh.

The faster I run, the closer they get. My screams and shouts escalate with every step. The growling intensifies.

They caught me. Latched on to my leg, sharp teeth and snarls. I carried them what seemed like a long ways before they decided to let go and head back home.

I hobbled in, blood running down my leg. Made the dreaded phone call to my man, who took me to the Doctor. One tetanus shot, a prescription for an antibiotic, and a bandage later, I was snarling a bit myself.

For a while after my encounter with the dogs, I ran with with fear and anxiety. Armed with pepper spray. Jumping at every sound. Eyes darting all around me. A wave of panic whenever I saw any dog that stood above my ankles!


I have found myself on the run this week. Being chased. Chased by the evil one.

Once again running. Fighting a spirit of fear. Terrified of the gapping wounds that may come. Praying they won’t.

I cling to these words as if my very life depends on it…

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2Timothy 1:7 NIV

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Allowing circumstances and uncertain situations to suffocate me. Searching for peace. Wanting answers and resolution. Throwing myself out there in the “what ifs”. Swallowed up in worry.

“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” John 16:33 The Message 

I pray that I will be unshakable, if and when the “what ifs” come to pass. That my trust and faith in Him will never waver.

I will intentionally put on The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

“For we are not fighting against flesh~and~blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NLT

Because, when the battle is over, I want to be standing firm. Arms outstretched, reaching for The One who loves me and holds me in His Hand.

My Protector, my Redeemer. The Lover of my soul.

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn