The following is a study of Psalm 91 and what I learned about enduring life’s storms, especially when you feel like God is not there with you. I learned that God is always there and sometimes He waits in order to help you find the faith to believe that He hasn’t left. As you read this study, I hope it encourages you to endure through any storm you face in this life.
1. Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2. This I declare of the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God and I am trusting him.
3. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague.
4. He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers. His faithful promises are you armor and protection.
5. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day,
6. Nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
8. But you will see it with your eyes; you will see how the wicked are punished.
9. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
10. No evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your dwelling.
11. For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go.
12. They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.
13. You will trample down lions and poisonous snakes; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14. The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.
15. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them.
16. I will satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
To me, Psalm 91 is a very important and critical Psalm to know as you walk along this journey with God Almighty. As I’ve been meditating on this Psalm most of last week, I found myself stuck on the first verse. I read it over and over and kept thinking, “what does it really mean to “live in the shelter of the Most High’’”? I thought about what a shelter is, what it is used for and for a while nothing profound was coming to me. I asked God to show me more about what that verse meant and I have to say that the way He taught it to me was very tough, but I don’t think I could have seen it any clearer any other way.
Last week I went though a pretty tough time and reached a low point that I hadn’t experienced since before my daughter was born. I wasn’t completely suicidal, but I found myself being okay with not being alive and I knew that was not good…not for me, not for my husband and especially not for my daughter. I really struggled and I kept trying to remind myself of all that God had been teaching me about depending on Him; and while it helped, I will still struggling. I felt completely alone and while I was in this state I asked God to help me and told Him that I was so close to not making it. He reminded me of something very important and then told me something to encourage my heart. The following is the dialogue we had over the period of a few days:
I need you to remember a few things. I know sometimes it’s hard, but I’m with you and I will continue to give you all that you need to make it through this. Be strong and continue to remember who you are and what all is available to you to give you the strength you need, so you can be gentle, comforting and full of compassion. Also, it’s important for you to understand that I’ve sent you to teach and to bring encouragement and healing to those you are hurting. In order for you to do that, it requires that you go through the hard things as well. I know that’s tough, but I am with you and I will continue to sustain you. Hold onto me and let me restore you and be your all.
Your Father God
So, I finally reached the point where even though it was hard, I could believe that God was still there and if it was getting harder, it must mean that I’m close to the end of the struggle and deliverance is right around the corner…and sure enough it was. However, in those trying moments I tried to reach out and get in touch with people that I knew, who cared very much about me, but to no avail. That’s when I realized God had me alone with Him for that moment to teach me what it meant to allow Him to be my all.
I felt the need to declare out loud that God was with me; that I could trust Him to come through for me and that deliverance was right around the corner. I called my Nana and left that message on her answering machine, just so I could profess it aloud. Then I said it to my daughter. I told her, “God is with us. He’s taking care of us now, just like He always has and He will bring us through this.”
That night, I went to bed and later found out there was a tornado nearby. I was grateful it didn’t come too close to my home, but it got me thinking again about a shelter. Shelters are used for protection; a place for safety when a storm is about to hit. The structure is sound and strong and nothing can penetrate it. In order to take full use of a shelter, you have to be fully inside it and close the door. You have to shut out any and all outside influences. And while you’re in the shelter, you wait out the storm. You hear the wind howling around you and you may feel things shaking outside, but you are inside and safely protected. As you wait it out, there may be turmoil inside you and you may wonder if the shelter is going to hold you. But if you live in tornado country and you’ve used that shelter enough times, even through the highest category storm, you begin to trust that nothing can really get to you while you’re in that shelter. And, you can eventually find a bit of rest in knowing that you and your family are safe. You may lose material things, but the most valuable possessions, your loved ones, are right there with you. They are safe and nothing else matters. That’s when your heart can begin to rest.
So, back to living in the shelter of the Most High; it’s the same way. The more you endure storms and trials in your own life and depend on God to protect you and bring you through; you are living in His shelter. You’re not just passing through; you’ve made God your safe place and when times get tough you learn to listen only to His voice. As you learn to believe in what you’re hearing and hang onto those words, even if it’s for dear life, you can begin to find peace and rest. And as you hold onto that, you learn to wait out the storm. You hang in there with God, knowing that even if you can’t feel Him and even if it seems like you are all alone; you know that you’re not and you keep trusting and wait it out, believing that the storm will pass and it will get better.
The sooner you do that and find rest in God, the sooner that storm passes and you receive the deliverance for which you’ve desperately been waiting. Then you can say verse 2 “This I declare of the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God and I am trusting him.” This verse is the other one I’ve been holding onto in this season. It’s in the front page of my journal and I call it to memory often. Those words were written by someone who knew how to ride out the storm and I’m grateful to have them, because it helped me to remember the truth and ride out my own storm. Now, I received my deliverance and God gave me a gift of rest and peace that I desperately needed.
My hope was fulfilled on Sunday and I’m grateful for all God has done to teach me and to help me through this time. I can believe all the words of this Psalm, that “He will rescue me…He will shield me…He will protect me.” And I can say, “Hosanna”, which means the Lord saves. He has for me today and He will do the same for you if you trust Him.
I’m pleased with you that it didn’t take you that long to give you what you asked for and teach you what it means to live in my shelter. I hope you can hold onto what you’ve learned and continue to let me teach you many things. No storm lasts forever. Remember that and always trust me. You are safe with me and I will always give you what you need.
Your Father God
(6/5/10 - AM)
Thank you for being with me. Despite all my struggling, you are still here with me and you’re helping me to develop. Just like we’re working on teaching my daughter to fall asleep on her own and we love her and are still around for her; I know you are still here for me. You are here, helping me to find my way, and to develop a deeper dependence on you. Thank you for the ways you teach me and help me to grow.
I know that you will continue to be with me and give me all that I need. Please help me to be strong as we help her to sleep on her own. Thank you for your grace and compassion. Grant us wisdom as we take care of her. Have your way in me and continue to provide me with what you know I need.
In Jesus’ Name,
(6/5/10 - PM)
Thank you for sustaining me throughout the day and for helping me to stay focused on you. Thank you for the reassurance that you are with me and that I am close to my deliverance. Please grant us wisdom as we care for our daughter and try to get her back on track with her sleep. Help me to be strong and to teach her how to sleep in a way that won’t erode the trust and feelings of security that I built up in her. Have your way Lord and continue to be with me and grant me good rest. Continue to teach me and grant me the strength to hold on and to rest in the shadow of your wings.
In Jesus’ Name,
I love you and I am proud of you for trusting me today, even while you were in the thick of your depression. I want you to know that I am with you and your deliverance is not far away. I also want to encourage you and let you know that you will get your daughter back on track and she will sleep through the night again soon. Just keep on trusting me and follow your heart. Comfort her and rebuild her sense of security and she will be back to sleeping well. More than anything, she needs to know you’ll always be there and come to her aid when she needs help.
You’ve come a long way since yesterday and I wanted you to see that you could make those strides just by depending on me and doing what I’ve taught you to stay healthy and remain on track. Continue to believe that you are close to your deliverance and know that I will always give you what you need. You are in my shelter and I am protecting you, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Continue to be patient and endure and you will see my salvation every time. Rest now and know that I’m here for you.
Your Father God
Thank you for this new day and for your faithfulness to me through this very trying time I just experienced. Thank you for your grace and your favor and for all that you are teaching me through it. I bless you for your mercy and loving kindness to me and my family. Thank you for the gift of rest last night and throughout the day yesterday. I bless you for all you do for me and my family. Have your way in me and continue to guide me and use me for your purposes. I love you Lord and I bless you for who you are. I am so grateful to be your daughter and to be taken care of so well by you. Continue to teach me as I reflect on Psalm 91. Show me all that you want me to see.