Some Trust in Chariots

My daughter’s attention was riveted to the tale of a brave mongoose who protected an Indian family by fighting cobras. Proud of my efforts to introduce her to classic literature and convinced she was now old enough, I read the story she’d selected, a cartoon-illustrated version of “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” by Rudyard Kipling.

Have you ever made what you deemed a wise decision but lived to regret it?

“I loved Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Mama. He was brave. But, Mama, what if cobras get into our house? We don’t have a mongoose. Can we buy a mongoose, Mama?”

“Honey, cobras don’t live in our part of the world, and no, we can’t buy a mongoose.”

“But one could come here, and get under the house, and come into my room,” she responded.

“I promise you cobras don’t live in our country. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi lived in India, and the author made the story up. It’s not true. Now go brush your teeth and get ready for bed, and I’ll come pray with you.”

“But, Mama, one might come here. I can’t go in the bathroom. Ask Daddy to check it first.”

Even after my husband checked, our little bookworm refused to budge from the sofa.

Oh, I know what I’ll do. Surely this will convince her.

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“Let’s look at the globe. Here’s where we live, and waaaaaay over here, on the other side of the world, is India. That’s where the story took place. Look at the huge oceans between us and India. See? No cobras can get to us.”

“They might be able to swim, Mama.”

Why did I read that story at night? Why did I read it at all?

No amount of words or geography lessons from tired parents could solve the argument.

Maybe if she talks to Daddy. She thinks he knows about everything, especially animals.

“Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you call Granddaddy and ask him about cobras?”

She called my dad and returned from the kitchen smiling. “Granddaddy said cobras don’t live here. They live in India, and that’s far away. Granddaddy knows everything. I’m going to brush my teeth. Can we read “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” again tomorrow night?”

What? That’s exactly what we said. But she believed her grandfather because “he knows everything.”  

Whom do you believe when you face fears? During the Covid-19 pandemic we hear advice from an alphabet soup of “experts.” CDC, WHO, FEMA, FDA, FOX, CBS, CNN, etc.                                

In addition to the acronyms, we’ve garnered advice from pastors, family, friends, social media platforms, and others. “Facts” presented by one source are disputed by another or changed the following day.

Three feet apart or six? Wear masks or don’t? It’s safe to go out; no, it’s not. Asymptomatic persons can carry the virus; no, they can’t. The conflict can frighten us and rob us of sleep.

Whom are we to believe? Who is credible? Are our sources basing their commentaries on God’s Word?

Satan, our enemy, uses fear to attack our peace, a fruit of God’s Spirit within believers’ hearts.

News updates serve a purpose, but they can also become incubators for panic. What protection does God’s Word offer?

When David faced physical enemies in battle, he said,

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Psalm 20:7

Some of David’s enemies depended on horse-drawn chariots and mighty warriors to wage war. Armies with this equipment and personnel often decimated opponents on the battlefield.

When fear rears its ugly head, it’s easy to turn to the arsenal of strategies we’ve used in the past with some measure of success.  Although we should utilize God-given skills and resources, placing our faith in God is vital if we are to win against distress. His gifts equip us, but we depend on Him for victory.

Depending solely on our own abilities, money, the help of others or information brings short-term success at best and does little to yield long-term peace. Let’s ask ourselves: Where does my dependence lie today? Where do I turn when I’m afraid or anxious?

Some versions of Psalm 20:7 substitute remember or boast for trust. Surely David recalled the numerous times God granted him military and personal victory as he counted on continued protection.

Does remembering God’s work in your life fortify you to face uneasiness?

Remembering a few of God’s many names helps us focus on who He is—His character.

El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)

Jehovah Shammah (The Lord is there.)

Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will provide.)

Jehovah Raah (The Lord my Shepherd) 1

Do one of these names of God or others comfort you in otherwise scary times?

In child-like faith, our daughter believed her granddaddy because of his proven record with her. In child-like faith, we can run to our Abba Father when enemies assail us. He actually DOES know everything and He cares for us.

Meditating on God’s names and His character reminds us of who He is. Perhaps in the face of battle, David focused on God’s faithfulness, His sovereignty, or His strength. Maybe at other times, the shepherd-king considered God’s lovingkindness or His longsuffering with His people.

Which traits of God help you to trust Him?

Whether our fear stems from the coronavirus, relational issues, financial concern, events in the news, or other sources, God’s names and His character remain the same. I hope you find encouragement today in the peace God offers to His followers. Jesus said,

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27

Try listing the names of God and His character traits. Concentrating on one per day and finding related Bible verses helps us conquer anxiety.

Do you know someone who needs these truths? When the peace of Christ fills our hearts, others are drawn to Him. Hearing the way God calms our fears can encourage someone else.

Please share how concentrating on one of God’s names or an aspect of His character helps you fight fear.

This week when news alarms us, let’s say with David,

…We trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Psalm 20:7

Bible verses are from the ESV.


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30 thoughts on “Some Trust in Chariots

  1. My grandchildren also enjoy Rikki-Tikki-Tavi! Your phrasing “incubators of panic” is spot-on, Jeannie. Some days it’s hard to know when to turn on the TV but knowing that God is in control and oh so trustworthy, I can walk in peace. Thank you for this post!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Cathy, I’m glad your grandchildren enjoy “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.” It is a good story to illustrate loyalty and friendship. As you indicated, we receive comfort by remembering
      “God is in control and oh so trustworthy.” Thank you so much for commenting, Cathy.

  2. When I am fearful, saying His name and breathing in and out slowly always comforts me.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      That’s a great tip, Melissa. We need calming moments of reflection on our heavenly Father, don’t we? Thanks so much for commenting.

  3. Thank you Jeannie for this reminder of God’s provision. These are troubling times that we are living and it is imperative to have a loving, trustworthy Father to calm our fears and provide his peace.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Jana, thank you so much for commenting. I’m honored you stopped by. You’re right that He calms our fears and provides His peace. Thanks, my friend.

  4. I loved this Jeannie! We listened to the audio version with our grandchildren, and although I remembered the story as a child, I was surprised how scary it seemed even to me now! What a great analogy. We do I’ve in fearful times, and I am so very grateful for the One who casts out fear. Thank you for a great post!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Like you, Sylvia, I’m thankful God can calm all of our fears. Many of the childhood stories are scary, aren’t they? I appreciate your comments.

  5. This is a wonderful article. I remember the cartoon special of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi on TV when I was a child. You’re right; whose voice do we listen to?

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Hi, Molly Jo, and thanks for reading and commenting. The story was fun to share and reminded me to guard against letting other voices speak louder to me than God and His Word.

  6. Thank you Jeannie, for your encouraging words that remind us to cast out fear and trust in Him!

    In times of confusion, desperation, and fear, it becomes easy to place our trust in others, rather than in God.

    But, our faith must be stronger than our fear. May we always remember that true peace only comes from
    El Shaddai.

  7. Yes, Dawn, I agree. It’s easy to place our trust in people sometimes, but God is the only One worthy of our trust. Thank you for sharing wise words.

  8. Thanks so much for posting! I think for me knowing that God is faithful and will never leave me nor forsake me really comforts me now. Focusing on God’s character instead of our circumstances definitely leads to peace.

  9. Joanna, knowing that God is faithful and never leaves us is reassuring. Thanks for sharing that.

  10. Thank you for this reminder, Jeannie. The character trait of God that comforts me most in these uncertain times is his sovereignty. Nothing will happen apart from His control and His good plan. And because He is good, I can trust Him.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Lori, remembering God’s sovereignty is comforting. Thank you for reminding us that we can always trust Him.

  11. Jimmie Annette Ballard

    Thank you Jeannie I needed this. Such a blessing.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      I’m glad the post was a blessing to you, Jimmie. Focusing on that verse helped me, too.

  12. This was perfect for me this morning.
    Just wanted you to know. Sometimes, it Seems I live in fear. Thank you for your devotions. With luv and prayers for you, Lynn❤️🦋

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Lynn, your comments encourage me every time I read them. Thank you so very much. It’s easy to let fearful things consume us. This verse helped me, too.

  13. Such insightful messages! I read that book when I was a child and always feared the cobra – even though I’ve never been to India. I remember warning my children not to go to India because they have cobra. Strange as that may seem, it was a huge thing for me – for years. Then one afternoon on a rather unplanned outing, I ended up at the zoo and my son insisted on walking through the reptile building where they’re all safely behind the glass. He was thirteen at the time, and the only one of the kids I had with me.

    About halfway through the reptile building, he grabbed my arm and pulled me back. There was only one other family behind us in the building and he pulls us out of the building, all while saying, “Just trust me!”

    We backed out of the building and he spotted a zoo-keeper a few feet away and went to alert him. There’d been a cobra loose in the building, about ten feet ahead of me and he’d seen it and recognized it because of my ever-fearful warnings.

    I don’t remember ever even thinking about a cobra since that time, unless someone else mentions them. Some fears have a purpose, whether we realize it or not, and once the purpose is fulfilled – the fear disappears.

    I trust in God! His word is true. Thank you for sharing this story!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Oh, my, Jan. I’m thankful your son was watchful. God does expect us to use warnings we see. You make a good point that short-term fear of something can help us, such as fear of snakes. Then, we turn our trust to God for the future. Thanks so much for commenting.

  14. You were reading my mind my friend. Right after I read about your little girl’s call to granddad, I said to myself “This is why we call Him Abba; He knows everything!” 🙂 What a delightful story to share God’s truth with us week. Loved this post Ms. Jeannie. Thank you so much ma’am. A heartwarming smile here.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, J. D. It’s one of my favorites from our daughter’s childhood. I love that although He is Almighty God, He is our Abba Father.

  15. Wonderful post! It’s SO important for me to remember all the miraculous things God has done in my life. When I find myself fighting another battle with my health or getting frustrated with the state of the world, I remember that God is in control. I remember that His track record is flawless and that whatever happens, He’ll help me through that too!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Josie, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I love your statement: “I remember that His track record is flawless and that whatever happens, He’ll help me through that too!” What a powerful reminder!

  16. This is a wonderful post…it was such a blessing to me!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Dee Dee, I value your opinion and appreciate your comment so much. We all need to remember to place our trust in God, don’t we?

  17. “When fear rears its ugly head, it’s easy to turn to the arsenal of strategies we’ve used in the past with some measure of success.” Oh, how true!!! I tend not to go to a specific NAME for God, but when I’m overwhelmed, I repeat the mantra, “I trust You. I trust You.” He is trustworthy and faithful even when I can’t see what is happening.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Yes, He is faithful. I appreciate your mention of simply repeating that you trust God. Afterall, that’s what He wants us to. Thanks so much.

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