Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16 – The Lord Watches Over You

photo by Tom Clark

Live under the protection
    of God Most High
    and stay in the shadow
    of God All-Powerful.
Then you will say to the Lord,
“You are my fortress,
    my place of safety;
    you are my God,
    and I trust you….

The Lord Most High
    is your fortress.
Run to him for safety,
    and no terrible disasters
    will strike you
    or your home.

God will command his angels
to protect you
    wherever you go.
They will carry you
    in their arms,
    and you won’t hurt your feet
    on the stones.
You will overpower
the strongest lions
    and the most deadly snakes.

The Lord says,
“If you love me
    and truly know who I am,
    I will rescue you
    and keep you safe.
When you are in trouble,
    call out to me.
I will answer and be there
    to protect and honor you.
    You will live a long life
    and see my saving power.” (Contemporary English Version)

I had a flashback in reading today’s psalm. My wife’s paternal grandmother was a godly woman. She raised five children in depression-era America, and it was not an easy life. She saw her share of hardship and difficulty. By the time I met Grandma she was elderly and in the twilight of life. Yet, none of those many difficult years she experienced had hardened her – she had an unmistakable sweet spirit. 

In my first meeting with Grandma, I read her this very psalm, since I knew it was her favorite. As I carefully went through the beautiful poetic lines of the psalm – words of God’s protection and watch-care over people –the look on Grandma’s face was as if I was reading it to her for the first time. She drank in its message and savored every word.

This dear woman of God has been gone now for decades, but her legacy lives on. My wife, to put it delicately, was something of a precocious child. Grandma prayed for her, along with her other grandchildren, every day. This was no small feat, considering that she had eighteen grandchildren and then many great grandchildren late in life. Today my wife is a godly woman, just like her grandmother. And it is no surprise to me that her favorite psalm is Psalm 91.  

What kind of spiritual legacy are we leaving for our kids, grandchildren, friends, and others? 

The times of testing, danger, risk, and hardship are the opportunities to put a trust in God into practice. It is in such seasons that we can run to the Lord as our refuge and fortress, our shelter and our shade. In doing so, the impact is not only personal, but points to and brightly illumines the way for others, as well.

Watchful God, you are my protection and my strength. I run to you because you are able to deliver and to secure. I pray for all those who need your special help and protection today. May they know that you are able to save through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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