Read Psalm 91

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the LORD,
“My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”
 
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
 
You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day,
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
 
Because you have made the LORD your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place,
no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder,
 the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.
 
Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.

 from Rev. Del Parris, Lost Creek, WV:

            The 91st Psalm has always been problematic for me.  We all know that bad things do happen to good people.  No one is protected or sheltered from the illnesses, misfortunes, fears and suffering that are common to human life.  Yet, while serving 36 years in hospital chaplaincy, I witnessed many people finding in God a shelter and refuge, even in their suffering and grief.  They found that in some way God was there for them.  Some found healing and renewal; others found strength for facing their suffering and death.  It seems to me this is the Psalmist’s challenge:  to so trust God and to have such faith, that we can turn to him in such times ourselves. 

Lord, in this season of reflection, may I discover the trust and faith
that always bring me to you in times of trouble and challenge.
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