Psalm 91:9-10 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the Lord, who is my refuge—
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
I have loved a song that is the first three verses of this Psalm set to music for about 40 years now, and I really like the whole Psalm. In a previous Bible I used for devotions I wrote in the margin at this point, “Whatever it looks like, it isn’t disaster.” We experience all sorts of things in this world, just as Jesus said we would, (John 16:33) but when we indeed make the Lord our refuge, relying obediently on Him, nothing can happen that He can’t turn around for our blessing – even martyrdom. (Romans 8:28) It’s interesting that the Japanese connects verse 9 here with what comes before it, starting out with “That’s because” rather than “If,” but the whole Psalm is essentially the same theme, so it doesn’t really change anything. The whole point is that God is totally worthy of our trust, whether we are concerned about human enemies, war, or anything else. Often we suffer more from anxiety over what might happen than we do from whatever does actually happen. Jesus talked at some length about that, (Matthew 6:25-34) and Paul famously said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) We need to live boldly, secure in the assurance that there is nothing that God can’t handle, and we belong to Him.
This is a timely Word for Cathy and me right now, with all sorts of things looming on the horizon. It’s hard to avoid the “what ifs”! I am used to dealing with such in relation to my wife, since she has quite a litany of medical issues, but I’m not used to it in relation to my own health. This should give me more genuine empathy with her, and with all around me who are dealing with all sorts of issues. Hernia surgery is rarely life-threatening, but I find my mind won’t let go of the scheduling issue, because the consultation is tomorrow, then two days later I give make-up examinations at Nagasaki Rehabilitation College, and then two days after that I’m scheduled to perform a wedding. And then next week my classes at the nursing school start! I think – actually I’m sure – that the Lord is giving me training in letting go and allowing Him to be God. I do that on the intellectual level, but emotionally it’s not so easy. I say that I’m ready for Him to take me home at any time, but when it comes to scheduling, that’s obviously a different matter! Thinking about it, it’s quite laughable, actually. I must get rid of my inflated view of my own importance, and instead trust God with every detail – including scheduling!
Father, thank You for this Word. Thank You for knowing where and how I need to grow. Help me not complain about it, internally or externally, and just rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have told me to do. Thank You. Praise God!