Psalm 61:1-5 (TLB) O God, listen to me! Hear my prayer! For wherever I am, though far away at the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help. When my heart is faint and overwhelmed, lead me to the mighty, towering Rock of safety. For you are my refuge, a high tower where my enemies can never reach me. I shall live forever in your tabernacle; oh, to be safe beneath the shelter of your wings! For you have heard my vows, O God, to praise you every day, and you have given me the blessings you reserve for those who reverence your name.
I was settling in to watch television with my husband. Showered and relaxed when my phone rang. It was our daughter hysterically crying. She hit a deer. Trying to calm her yet moving chaotically to get dressed and to her, she finally told me that she was okay but her car was destroyed. Thank God for the GPS tracking application that I keep on the kids phones. She was traveling to the coast on a long stretch of highway with thick dense forest alive with wildlife. A deer ran out into the road to meet its demise on the front end of a Honda Civic. Thank you Jesus! Our daughter sore but safe.
Driving to the crash site, there were many deer along the road. A mama pig with her piglets ran from the roadway. Armadillos and raccoons all around. There are no lights on this stretch of road. Rushing to our daughter, I wasn’t really thinking about the animals. However, once with her, I became acutely aware of the sounds of the night. Standing in the middle of the highway, I looked back into pitch blackness outside of the headlights of my husband’s truck and the flashers on her car. Turning to look into the distance ahead, nothing but darkness. I cannot explain the feeling of smallness in the midst of the vastness of creation.
There are times and seasons when our smallness can be overwhelming according to whatever it is that comes about in life. Lost in chaos. Out of control. Devastating diagnoses. Something out of the ordinary that wrecks the order of our life. It is a prime opportunity for the enemy to rush in with fear, intimidation, anxiety, worry and stress. It is human nature to feel faint and overwhelmed. There is a place for those who decide to make Jesus their Savior and love Him as Lord. There is a towering Rock of Safety. He is our refuge. He is a high tower where the enemy can never reach me. It is a safe place of our choosing.
Isaiah 43:16 (TLB) I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a path right through the sea. (The Past)
Isaiah 43:19 (TLB) For I’m going to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Don’t you see it? I will make a road through the wilderness of the world for my people to go home, and create rivers for them in the desert! (The Future)
It is important when circumstances flood our heart with disappointment, distress or discouragement that we assess the situation properly. The trial is temporary. The test is making our testimony. The enemy is defeated. He rages and wars against our faith in the Lord hoping that we will exchange it for fear again. Standing in the middle of the road last night, I looked back at the road traveled to get to our daughter. It was instantly the past. God protected our child from harm. The Hand of God held her when tragedy came calling. He made a way for us to come reclaim our beloved. Praise Him! When I turned looking ahead, I realized I am not in control of the future. Yet the God who kept her from harm in the past – is the God of our future. Sometimes we get stuck in the middle. Stagnancy is a lack of movement that leads to spiritual deterioration and death of our faith.
I lived in the middle for a long, long time. Looking back at what the Lord had done – His Faithfulness and Goodness so overwhelming. His Sovereignty in vivid clarity. His Love all consuming. BUT – moving forward meant facing the fear that my faith might not be enough for the next trial or test. Last night, I realized the God of my past is the God of my future. Though the accident will cause many inconveniences, He is with me. It is important that as believers that we strive for higher places. To live in the Shadow of the Most High far above the temporary things that challenge us so. God is Good! He is always Good! He made a place for us in His Presence clearly the way with the sacrifice of His Precious Son.
Isaiah 55:9-11 (TLB) For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours. As the rain and snow come down from heaven and stay upon the ground to water the earth, and cause the grain to grow and to produce seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry, so also is my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It shall accomplish all I want it to and prosper everywhere I send it.
I shall live forever in your tabernacle; oh, to be safe beneath the shelter of your wings!
God’s ways will always be higher than my ways. His Thoughts greater than my own. I believe that the secret to finding shelter in the Presence of God is to fortify our heart with His Word. The Word of God is the seed of faith that is planted in a fertile (broken) heart to grow, develop and mature into the Promise of God for our life. His Word for our life will not fail. (Luke 1:37) It cannot and will not return to the Lord void of accomplishment. Jesus is the Word of God. (John 1:14) I share this with you to encourage you today to move to higher thinking. Meditation. Contemplation of God’s Words. Listen for His Voice. It is His Whispering that is our invitation to move beyond our current condition and circumstances to live in the strong tower of His Love and let Him guard our heart with peace.
Psalm 57:9-10 (TLB) I will thank you publicly throughout the land. I will sing your praises among the nations. Your kindness and love are as vast as the heavens. Your faithfulness is higher than the skies.
Every morning I pray Isaiah 54:17 over my family. I plead the Blood of Jesus over them. I ask the Holy Spirit to go with them. I summon God’s Angel Army to surround them. Last night, God answered those prayers in a real and tangible way. As we headed home, I posted on social media to the Glory of God. I believe that it is important to give God glory in our life. To tell others exactly what the Lord has done for us no matter how great or small. It reminds us of what He has done as well. We must become precise in our pursuit of the Living God lest be left on the side of the narrow road broken down. God detests middle of the road living – He cannot palate lukewarm living. He is a fresh and moving God looking to constantly sow fresh faith and new hope in us for His Glory and our good. He can be found in every single detail (Romans 8:28) with the promise to make all things beautiful in their time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Psalm 91:1-3 (TLB) We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods. This I declare, that he alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him. For he rescues you from every trap and protects you from the fatal plague.
In light of the current world situation concerning the coronavirus, many churches are praying Psalm 91:1-3 today. May it be a light to the darkest corner of our heart where fear lingers. We live within the shadow of the Almighty – every day. God invites us to reside in His Presence as our shelter. The choice is ours. Will He alone be your refuge today? Will He be your place of safety? Will He be Your God? Will you trust Him? This is how we build a life in the Presence of God. It is not dependent on any other factors than faith and trust in the Sovereignty of God and His Overwhelming Love. The Lord will not take your life from you. Love will never violate freedom. It is a choice. Jesus has already chosen you. Will you choose Him as your dwelling place?
John 15:7 (TLB) But if you stay in me and obey my commands, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted!