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Day 12

Day 12

Author: Barb McLennan
June 23, 2020

 

SHELTER WHERE?

Once again one of my (adult) children has become my teacher.

“Mom, it has been an amazing 3 months doing ‘91 for 91’ all-Young Life staff every morning on Zoom.  We read Psalm 91, share new insights and pray--for 91 days running.” 

Although Psalm 91 has been one of my recent “go to” scriptures, and has proved to be an abundant treasure trove, after Tami’s call, I now view it again with new eyes and filters of COVID-19 and 2020 protests.

Ps 91:1  NIV “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

At first, the word “dwell” jumps out to me. My mental image of “dwell” is one of extended, constant, lingering or abiding, not just a temporary P.O. Box or passing place to be. This is truly a place where I put down roots and live life day after day after day!

Next, I notice that relevant, familiar word “shelter.” Our place to stay-put, stay home, stay safe… our refuge.  Yet here the Psalmist adds a powerful dimension by identifying it as the “shelter of the Most High.” This place is not just my own haven, but elevates it as belonging to Father God, the Creator of the universe.

The psalm further narrows the image by placing us in the Shadow of the Almighty.  I pause to ponder “Why His shadow?” To be continually found in someone’s shadow, we must remain that close, toe to toe, or even on His heels. A space of intimacy, not “socially distanced.”  Don’t I ache for intimacy right now? Don’t I miss those real hugs instead of fake air hugs or elbow bumps? In that space, we are promised rest. Not fear, not turmoil, anger, or chaos in the streets, but much needed rest.

Right here I push the “pause” button on Psalm 91 and jump to another go-to Scripture near to my heart.  Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus picks up where the Psalmist leaves off.  “Come to me…I will give you rest.” In The Message paraphrase it reads like this.” Are you tired, worn out, burned out on religion?  Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

My challenge today is to continue to shelter in this place: in the shelter of the Most High, in the shadow of the Almighty. To walk with Jesus and find true rest of heart and peace of mind. My challenge is also to continue through the whole of  Psalm 91 and unpack the treasures anew.

 

Prayer

Father-–Most High; Almighty–Holy Spirit;  Jesus–Lord & Savior, thank you for being our shelter, our refuge, our fortress.  Help us to dwell in the light of this truth–that you welcome us to stay as close as your shadow so we can live freely and lightly.  Even as we enter a new normal, thank you for walking with us and working with us by your grace every step of the way.  Amen

 

Barbara McLennan


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