It’s the oldest standing masonry fort in North America, guarding the town of St. Augustine since 1672, telling of the struggle and resourcefulness that characterized the colonial American.
A stronghold. Impenetrable. Twice besieged, but never taken. Never destroyed by canonfire. Only 6 lives ever lost within its walls.
First built by the Spanish to protect their treasure in the new world, traded to the British as spoils for the victors of the Seven Days War, awarded back to Spain after the American Revolutionary War, and ceded to a young nation within the confines of a new state, Florida.
Armed with canons on every side. A ready defense. Not an offensive weapon, it’s immovable foundations have survived assaults from sea, looting from pirates, and trampling from tourists. The coquina walls remain with etchings to tell the stories of all its occupants. Truly, the walls speak. A reminder of the staying power of human will and ingenuity.
It’s nothing compared to the strength of my God.
Jesus. May I hide myself in You? When the enemy lobs mortar fire through friends’ careless words that rip into my flesh, may I remember that I am precious in your eyes. When the enemy loots me of my confidence and anxiety lodges deep within my belly because my tasks seem so looming, may I remember your promise of my handwritten days all laid out before one of them came to be. When my future is unknown, and I look to those around me to tell me which way to go, may I remember the constancy of your love for me — never changing, never waning, always sustaining love you died to prove.
One big difference between my God and Castillo de San Marcos: The Castle doesn’t move. It’s rooted to the ground on the Mantanzas Bay. It’s a stone monument to the past.
My God is with me wherever I go. To hide myself in Him isn’t to hunker down in a dark corner shivering at the mortar exploding overhead.
To know He is my stronghold means I can step out into the day He has given me with humble confidence. Grace-filled surety. I don’t cower in a crater of fear. I stand on the ground He has secured for me. So my life becomes, not only living proof of all He can do with one relinquished, but also a testimony of all He has yet to do with one purchased.
A living monument to the future.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1