As shots rang out, assistant high school football coach Frank Hall had to choose whether to run toward or away from the sound. This self-proclaimed “regular guy”—afraid of confrontations, heights, roller coasters, and scary movies, and who practically jumps through the ceiling when his kids startle him—chose to charge the gunman, his voice booming, “Stop! Stop!” The 17-year-old gunman, who had already killed three students and wounded three more in the school, was startled by Hall’s blitz. He shot at Hall, missed, and then ran outside, where police apprehended him on a nearby road.

Frank Hall, in that moment, did what God does all the time—protects His people.

God protects us. He watches over and helps us (Psalm 121:1). He stands beside us as a “protective shade” (Psalm 121:5), and His ears are open to our cries. He also protects us by His presence. A recurring theme throughout Scripture is: I will be with you, and I will never abandon you (Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5). Sometimes, God sends angels to protect, defend, and care for us (Genesis 21:17; Psalm 34:7; Hebrews 1:14), and at other times, He uses other people to protect and defend the ones He loves (Numbers 35:25; James 1:27). Sometimes we’re allowed to suffer for Him, but this can ultimately lead to blessing and joy in His presence (1 Peter 4:12-14).

As we face dangers and enemies of all kinds, instead of cowering in fear, may we choose to boldly approach God—asking Him for wisdom and strength. And may we also ask Him to use us as powerful agents of His grace, protecting and defending those who can’t defend and speak up for themselves. We can trust that our God is watching over us “both now and forever”! (Psalm 121:8).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 22:30–23:22