Day One-31 Days of Praise-Psalm 91:1-21
Welcome to the first post for 31 Days of Praise!
Normally I use the KJV, but oft and on, I will go back and forth in the versions I use. Today I am using the NAS version and the verse is:
Psalm 91:1-21. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2. I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!"
As you reflect on this verse, what type of imagery do you get of our Heavenly Father?
I’m writing this on the onset of a head cold and a home filled with sick little babes. Even the dog seems to be feigning (or actually) is sick and I think about God at this time and moment. I want a warm blanket. I need medicine, I want someone to take care of ME, but then I stop and think,
What if I’m not sick? What about times of trouble and need? Who do I have and what do I do then? Here is when the Psalmist, no matter what, is crying out to the Lord that HE, is where the psalmist is going to seek shelter and no where else is it going to be.
My home is like that. It’s a place of protection from the elements outside. I’m so grateful to the home I have and that God brought us to this home and neighborhood, because like many other, we have fears and worries and seek shelter, but even then, brick and stone can not always give us the spiritual comfort and shelter that we long for.
In a couple of months, it’s going to be hurricane season again and for all of us who live along the Gulf Coast, this is a time of preparation and of fear and worry.
We do what everyone in the area does, we make sure our shutters are in tip top shape, we stock up on food and water in case we decide to ride out the storm, keep an eye on the weather channel, keep our important documents in one location and in a safe location, and just wait.
But what about the storms in our lives? The spiritual storms? The emotional storms that sweep through and live us feeling turn inside out, our roots, uprooted, our hearts aching?
That’s when we need to learn to turn and trust in our Heavenly Father, because He is like the mama bird who wraps her wings around her younglings to protect them from the ravages of the cold, the darkness and the winds that blow around them.
God has created an impregnable place of refuge where nobody can access and harm. Images of Meggido comes to mind. The last fighting place. The last stand. It’s the perfect hideout. A source of water is protected within it’s rocks and God’s words are like that. They are hewn in a place where they can not be damaged, soiled or poisoned and are protected from spiritual warfare that tries to tear God’s creation apart, but so we must do the same with our hearts if God is our refuge.
Deuteronomy 11:16-1816 (KJV).
Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 17. And [then] the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and [lest] ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you. 18. Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes
Can you think of any other verses that call out to you?
Reading 31 Days of Praise, realizing…oh wait…Hurricane season is around the corner, and finding it harder and harder to watch t.v. because of all that is shown that is not for the good of God, and I’m sick and I just want to go to bed, and it’s so easy to feel like going, Okay, Lord, where is your fortress, I’m checking in now"…but I reflected on this quote from "31 Days of Praise":
"My heart rejoices in You, Lord, for You are my strong shelter in times of trouble and danger and stress, my hiding place to whom I may continually resort…my Father who lovingingly provides for me…My Shepherd who guides and protects me…my Champion who upholds my cause as His child and defends my highest interests..my Bridegroom who delights in me..my God who is might to save……"
Source: 31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers
And I stopped. And I thought about it. And I stopped. And I bow my head in humility.
When the going gets tough. How often do we get going? Without God. Everyman for themselves.
Our Lord is standing there with the door open, beckening us in, saying, He is here to protect us. Learn to trust me. Learn to love me. Learn to obey me….and then stops. And asks, "Why? Why we stop short with Him?"
I know I’ve had those moments. Where I’m fevered with passion and love for Him and quick to defend Him and to shout out His words…but then, the storm comes. I scurry around like blind mice. I forget to put up my blinds because I forget to drill holes for the blinds. I was unprepared.
The food was eaten up as quickly as it was stocked. There’s water. Good. Oh wait…that’s gone.
Where’s the important papers? That’s why, I went to get something and forget to return them. And God’s safe fortress….it’s there but I forget to think about it so I’m not protected.
God is always faithful and He is always there, and He is probrably always weeping thinking He has a safe fortress for us to hide in protection but we, like stubborn teenagers, forget, and get lost in the rain and get wet and cold and sick.
So we need to make an effort to remember…to consult our map often and when it rains, retreat to God….an Awesome God who is there for us, who loves us, and shakes His head probrably thinking, "Silly teenagers, when will they learn to trust Me?"
Is God your refuge, your Fortress? God has safe haven for all of us…we just have to open our hearts to him.
Scriptures for Reflection from "31 Days of Praise"
Psalm 27:5, 71:3, 91:1-2
Matthew 6:25-26; Psalm 23:1-3
Zephaniah 3:17-18;Psalm 16:5-6;107:9