January 4th - Safe
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. Psalms 91:1-6 (NKJV)
I was raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho--which was recently ranked as the 18th coldest city in the United States. Dad turned the thermostat down at night, which made scrunching down under the covers a glorious event. In the mornings, Dad would turn up the furnace and warm air would blast up through the vents. Behind the stereo system in the living room was such a vent on the floor. I would sneak up to that secret spot every morning and cover the vent with a blanket and bask in the ensuing heat wave. I would have liked to have stayed there forever. Safe, warm, satisfied, peaceful, happy...
Then real life occurred. I found out that the world is not safe, warm, satisfied, peaceful or happy! I don't think that it takes a genius I.Q. to look at the happenings of our little planet and to accurately conclude that something went wrong. Too much violence--too much conflict--too much greed--too much laziness--too much exploitation--too much foolishness--too much self-destructive behavior--too much abuse--too much tragedy. It's OK...it really is, because, as a Believer, this world is not my home. So, what do I do in the meantime?
I need to go and dwell in the "secret place" where God is. I need to abide under His shadow surrounded by the warmth of His presence. Please understand, I'm not dwelling in this secret place to "run away" from my responsibilities or to deny the reality of the world's true nature. "No," I go to this place of refuge to be strengthened and to be filled with courage, so that when I do out into the darkness I will be absolutely unafraid. That in the midst of all that is crazy and wrong in our world--inside of me--in a secret place--God and I continue to have fellowship; and I face the world; safe, warm, satisfied, peaceful, happy...
Author's Note: America just came through another political season where we elected a new president. Listening to the political spin was upsetting and made my world just seem "off." It is a good thing that I'm not looking to the political process for answers or to a state institution to make me feel secure, because, that's not going to happen. My hope is certainly found in the Almighty. He is my refuge and my fortress. RJD