The Name, the Shelter

“O Lord, how many are my foes!
    Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
    ‘There is no salvation for him in God.’

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy hill.

I lay down and slept;
    I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
    who have set themselves against me all around.”
Psalm 3:1-6

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
    the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”
Proverbs 18:10

Neighbors’ chimes doled a melodious background to the wind shrushing through trees in the chilly dark before dawn. Where I sit, ours hang still and silent, sheltered from the gusty pushing. Within the tower, behind the shield that is our Lord, we are safe from the blow of trouble.

Isn’t this our position in Christ these world-windswept days? We hear the chatter of voices, the clamor of dissension, the cacophony of angry disagreement; we observe changing industry and noisy instability in institutions great and small. Yet, tightly held in Jesus’s name, we are untouched. It is well with our souls. No threat, no blow, need shake or topple us. We stand secure, and if we tune our hearts, can delight in the heavenly music.

“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.’” Psalm 91:1-2

We may try to erect other shelters- of knowledge, regulated discipline, financial security, schedules tidily set on order. But at the sovereign breath of God’s mouth, man’s structures topple and his plans come to naught. A sudden death, a lost job, a strike of violence, a change of command, a pandemic- anything we cannot control can unsettle and forever alter a day, an outlook, a future. But when the Lord is the shield round about us, He lifts our heads to see His grace, to trace His goodness, to hear His voice. In Him alone we are stable and safe.

“O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.” ~Helen Howarth Lemmel (1922)

What is unsettling our peace? What unknowns, or imagined hypotheticals, do we fear? Where have we allowed the world’s drone of dread, danger, or despair seep in to take over our perspective? If we would plant ourselves square in God’s shelter, we can look at the storm, face the wind, and remain calm. We can be still in the midst of turning turmoil. Would we cling now to His strong name?

If we dwell in the shadow of the Most High, whom will we invite to share His shelter and salvation? With whom will we share this good news, that no matter what threatens in the world, Jesus guards our lives and all of our ways?(Psalm 91:9-16)

Father, thank You for tucking me into Your holy Name. From that shelter may I ever sing and share Your salvation.

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