The mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. An evening shopping trip turned deadly at a neighborhood Walmart. A routine meeting at the UPS office leaving people dead and in shock. Las Vegas, New York City and countless others just this year.
Where are we protected? Where can we shop, work, seek entertainment, or go to school without the threat of unexplained violence? Can we freely walk through our neighborhoods, travel cross-country, or have an adventure without running the risk of death. Are we safe anywhere?
And if not, how do we be less afraid in a world full of scary things?
Growing up I was a fearless little girl with an insatiable appetite for the world and its people. At the tender age of 11, I traveled to Brazil for an international peace camp, without my parents and for a month. In my mid-teens I was sleeping on an overnight train in Europe completely alone, crossing country borders as if it were stores at the shopping mall. I won’t even talk about the hospital stay in Slovakia when I was 18, as that’s a story for another time. Few situations made me uncomfortable, and in many regards, I was a stranger to fear. As time marched on, slowly my adventurous spirit has given way to timidity. Maybe it is because I have seen more, know more, and have quicker access to the headlines around the world. Perhaps it is because I am a mom and feel the weight of responsibility to protect my children. Maybe it is because the world is truly a scarier place after all. Or perhaps I need to relearn where my trust belongs…
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most Highwill rest in the shadow of the Almighty.I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust.”Surely he will save youfrom the fowler’s snareand from the deadly pestilence.He will cover you with his feathers,and under his wings you will find refuge;his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.You will not fear the terror of night,nor the arrow that flies by day,nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,nor the plague that destroys at midday.A thousand may fall at your side,ten thousand at your right hand,but it will not come near you.You will only observe with your eyesand see the punishment of the wicked.If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”and you make the Most High your dwelling,no harm will overtake you,no disaster will come near your tent.For he will command his angels concerning youto guard you in all your ways;they will lift you up in their hands,so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.You will tread on the lion and the cobra;you will trample the great lion and the serpent.“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.He will call on me, and I will answer him;I will be with him in trouble,I will deliver him and honor him.With long life I will satisfy himand show him my salvation.”Psalm 91
Here is what this passage DOES promise:
We can rest under His care.
He will save us from Satan’s attacks on our heart.
His faithfulness will be our shield.
He can grant us sleep, trusting His watch in the night.
Those who believe in Him will be saved.
God hears our prayers.
He will never leave us; even in trouble, He is there.
Regardless of how long we live on earth, we will be satisfied when we see Him face to face.
But His promises change something in my heart; I no longer have to be a slave to fear. Does it change anything in yours?