1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD , "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling-
even the LORD , who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD , "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."
We walk always in the presence of God. He is everywhere, always, at all times. Yet how often we go about our business, without truly acknowledging this awesome fact. The creator of the universe accompanies us, He is both about and within us though we may or may not dwell in the knowlege of this awesome truth.
The world swirls in chaos around us, the noise of our earth, the pain of our dealings, the power of injustice often drowns out all recollection of the divine. Yet in the center of all of this, is one resounding truth. God bids us to find our rest in Him. In the shadow of his very presence, we are safe no matter what may befall us.
Once early in my marriage, a member of my wife's family was visiting. As she was accustomed to doing, she began to ridicule and berate my wife. I watched my wife begin to fall back into the shell of her childhood. She was descending into self doubt, shame and embarasment. I stood up to my full 6'2", I puffed out my chest, and I am sure the anger I felt increased my size, as my brow creased, and fire burned inside. I said slowly, and very intensely, "you will never speak to my wife in that way again, get out of my house, now" My wife instantly came alive. In the shadow of my love, she became the beloved, and all shame melted away. Eventually she grew to such confidence in my love, and in God's that she doesn't accept that kind of abuse anymore.
In some small way this echoes Gods love. Above our lives filled with fear, shame, and insecurity, arises the mighty figure of the Creator God, the Almighty, the Beginning and End. And in His house, we fear no one, or no thing. In my Fathers mighty arms, I am safe. No matter what rages about me, no matter how dark the future may seem, no matter how hope seems to run away from our grasp, I stand in the shadow cast by my loving Dad, and all is well.
My friends, you may face things I shudder to think of. You may find yourself up against realities I have only imagined in my darkest moments. You may experience the very worst of the world. But all of that pales in comparison, to the love of God that He lavishes upon us, His chosen children. And if we end up at last, awaking literally in His heavenly arms, it will be sweet comfort.
Though this knowledge often escapes even the most spiritual men, it can be found in the storm. And what a precious dwelling place is the safe haven, while the storm rages unabated all around.
May we not take this precious gift for granted