I woke up yesterday morning and turned on the news to this: “And we have no idea as of yet,” the nuclear energy expert said, her voice tense, “the full impact and far-reaching damage of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster…”
I tried another radio station and heard: “And economic advisers are predicting the financial fiasco may be just months away…”
One more attempt to get some news, a weather forecast maybe—I’d settle for a mattress commercial at this point—revealed: “The United Nations is forming a plan to ‘save earth from killer asteroids’” (I did not make this up).
So much bad news and I’m not even out of bed yet.
I turned off the radio.
Immediately, bits and pieces of Psalm 91 came to mind:
“…Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare…” (3)
“…under his wings you will find refuge…” (4)
And “He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble…” (15).
Okay, Lord. This looks like a Psalm 91 kind of day, I thought. And I decided that before I let all the current troubles fester in my consciousness I’d open the Bible to the famous “help in hard times” Psalm and read through from verse 1 to the end.
And so I did.
And it was good.
(Picture shoulders easing down from ears as tension slowly recedes…)
And it occurred to me that I could offer like comfort and encouragement to others.
What follows, in installments, is a walk through Psalm 91 that I hope for you, too, will provide some peace and strength in the midst of the fray, for the coming days may get a lot worse before they get a lot better.
Here’s the first installment.
And, if you like, share your stories, too.
The Sturdy Oak
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1, NIV)
When I was a kid one of my favorite pastimes was climbing a certain tree in the front yard. I loved the view from high up and the protection from stray dogs, rivaling sibs, and other trouble “on the ground.”
I loved the sounds of the tree as I nestled in its sturdy branches, leaves bristling in the breeze. I felt peaceful and safe there. And it was a cool place in the hot, humid, Midwest summers.
I picture a dwelling place with God as also being high up and peaceful like my perch in the branches of the old oak. I picture a refuge “in the shadow of the Almighty” to be refreshing, too.
But mostly, I picture the “shelter of the Most High” to be a place of safety, away from the fray.
Trouble may clamor beneath, or over there, or in the rumblings of war machines far or near, but in the dwelling place of God, wherein we are invited to spend time, indeed to remain, we can find rest.
For like that sturdy oak, God is not moved.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust” (2).
Share your own story of how God has been a “refuge” (stronghold, strength, fortress, defense, trust) for you.
Photo from the public domain