“You Have Nothing to Fear” Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16 NRSV
1 You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, 2 will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”
9 Because you have made the LORD your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, 10no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. 11For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. 13You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. 14Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. 15When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. 16With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.
Parenthood causes you to look at life with a different point of view. The lens by which you perceived things once before is almost transformed in an instance. There is no way possible one cannot witness the faith and comfort a little child has when they are in the presence of those who have been gifted with the privilege of caring for them, and see things from a different point of view. In an atmosphere where the child has the opportunity to thrive in the presence of their earthly parents, the child is able to freely exist without worry. You are able to witness this type of faith by seeing their faces light up when they fall hard but recognize that someone is there to pick them up and care for them. This type of faith is expressed and explained through the excitement and joy that is heard throughout the room when they have been away from you for most of the day and they see you walk through the door after a long day at work. Such expressions are moments of validation for them that suggest that they fully understand that their ability to freely function lies in the hands of those who are present when they open their eyes up in the morning and tuck them in when they close those same eyes at night to rest. Without a doubt they know where they can find refuge.
So the psalmist attempts to make plain for us that this type of faith and trust can be established when we know that God is our refuge. With this understanding, like the child has in the comfort of their earthly parents, we can rest in the most high with a faith in knowing that we are shielded from everything that is set up to harm us. When God is your refuge, you can freely let your light shine and trust that there is one whose light shines brighter standing right there with you in the midst of your dark places. And even in the midst of someone else’s dark place. When God is your refuge you can fulfill the call in its fullness and in return God will cover and protect you from those things that possess ill intentions. When God is your refuge, in the midst of chaos you can trust that you will be rescued.
Prayer: Because you are my refuge, the Most High, my dwelling place, God I trust that you will make the burdens of life light. I can rest in knowing that you are there at all times, even when my eyes cannot see you and my ability to hear your voice clearly has failed me. When I go to fulfill the work that I am called to, nothing shall stand in my way. I wholeheartedly believe that this is true, because the angels that you have encamped around me have never let me fall. With long life you will satisfy me and show me my salvation. I am forever grateful. Amen.
Taken from the 2016 Disciples Home Missions Lenten Devotional Resource, written by Rev. Antonio (Tony) Redd.
The full Lenten Devotional Booklet can be downloaded by clicking HERE.