We watched as young Anderson sat at the picnic table thumbing his fingers on his Bible that he had brought to our devotional time. He was listening intently, and when it was time to dig into scripture, he was ready to find the book, chapter and verse. After doing so, he slid his finger along under each word as it was read.
Each Friday, we gather together to spend some time in worship and in God’s Word . . . all of us: children, staff and farm workers. Typically, during the school year, the children are at school, but, as we all know, this year has been different. We no longer fit so well in the small chapel with everyone together, so we meet in the pavilion area. Someone on staff leads with some worship songs and then our Director leads us in a short devotional time. While in the midst of this hard season, God’s Word has soothed and comforted our souls.
We’ve been looking at various psalms. The book of Psalm contains 150 psalms that are both hymns and prayers. They were written to communicate man’s response to our great and glorious God in the midst of varying circumstances. Whether on a mountain top or deep in a valley, there is reason to draw near to God and give Him praise.
Recently, we just finished going through Psalm 91. It is a Psalm expressing our response to fear. Fear chases us. Fear was chasing David, the author of this psalm. This psalm speaks about abiding in God’s shelter, taking refuge under His wings and making Him our dwelling place at all times. It’s not that bad things don’t happen. We live in a broken world where broken things do happen. 2020 has certainly been a year of unexpected twists and turns that has stirred up fear. We’ve certainly witnessed bad things happening. But as we stay close to God and keep our eyes on Him, He reveals to us His abundant grace, love, protection and provision. He has been our shelter.
We memorized portions of this psalm during the weeks, and we dug in deep to this Psalm. The children learned the verses and recited them in front of everyone, and they challenged the adults to memorize them as well. But more than just memorizing words, we hope these words settle deep down into all of our hearts where we can sense God’s arms shielding and protecting us.
We invite God’s presence, and one of the most tangible ways of inviting God’s closeness near is through prayer. We are grateful for all who keep us lifted in prayer. Thank for lifting us up to God Most High!
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I 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, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.” Psalm 91: 1-6