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Monday, August 31, 2015

Today’s Reading | Psalm 91

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
   who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
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,
   or the arrow that flies by day,
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
   or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
   ten thousand at your right hand,
   but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
   and see the punishment of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
   the Most High your dwelling place,
no evil shall befall you,
   no scourge come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
   so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder,
   the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

Those who love me, I will deliver;
   I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
   I will be with them in trouble,
   I will rescue them and honor them.

With long life I will satisfy them,
   and show them my salvation. (NRSV)

When I have a lot on my mind and am particularly stressed, I have a habit of waking up at exactly 4:00 in the morning (regardless of my time zone). All of my fears and concerns flood over me and are magnified illogically. I fret about my real problems and manage to create new ones. In the light of morning, my reason returns, the silly worries disappear, and I work to resolve the real problems.

Psalm 91 reminds me of my overnight worries. So many possibilities of sickness, death, and evil that can be overwhelming. Thankfully, safety, refuge, and love are offered here too. I appreciate that if I trust in God and try to do what satisfies him, I will feel the soft comfort as God covers me in feathers and the strong protection of his truth in shield and buckler.

I pray that today, tomorrow, and forever I remember your promise to deliver, God, and that I answer when you call on me. I pray that you will continue to know my name and be there with me in worry and trouble, during day and night. Amen.

Written by Kathryn Burkhardt, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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