Keeping the Faith

The psalmists often draw on history — the history of the people of God, and their individual personal histories, as well — to “keep the faith,” when God seems very far away. The very act of remembering can often bring us into the Presence.

The Scripture

Psalm 91
New American Standard translation

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!”

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly disease. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of violence that strikes by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your feet, and ten thousand be slain, but it will not touch you. You will witness the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place.

No evil will befall you, nor will any plague strike your home. For He will assign his holy angels to watch over you, to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up, so you will not stumble or slip. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. “With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation.”

Photo of a flower

Reflection by Deborah Beach Giordano
October 22, 2018

Seeking Shelter

A psalm for those seeking, and growing tired.

“Those who trust in God will be safe and secure.”

So they say.

But that’s not how it is for me, O Lord.
I am “like those who dream”….
of being on stage in front of a crowd —
and realizing, suddenly,
that I’m not wearing any clothes.

I feel exposed,
vulnerable,
defenseless.

Where is that promised sanctuary;
the solid ground that holds fast,
the fortress that withstands the fiercest storm?

“He will not let your foot slip…”
But I’ve not merely slipped,
I’m sliding,
skidding,
falling
head-first
into the abyss.

Trapped,
snared,
stuck;
caught
in a net of helpless hopelessness,
the more I struggle, the tighter I am bound.

Exhausted,
weary,
worn out,
there is no strength in me.
I tremble at the screech of the blue jay,
cringe when a raven soars overhead,
draw back in terror at my own shadow.

I cannot act,
I cannot think,
I can neither sleep
nor rest.

Sometimes I cannot breathe;
but pant
and gasp
and flutter desperately,
like a bird with a broken wing.

O, that I might find shelter in You,
where even the sparrow finds a home;
where swallows rest secure.
I would not be afraid of the evils that stalk the night,
nor the violence that strikes by day.

There, in the safety of Your love,
I would grow strong and brave;
my hope restored,
my wounds healed,
my courage renewed.

Enveloped in a peace beyond all telling,
a calm spirit filling my heart,
I would sing to You a song of joy like this:

Because You love me, O Light Eternal,
all is well,
and all is well,
and all will be well.

Nothing and no one —
no enemy
nor threat
nor curse
nor calamity —
can overcome me,
for You are with me;
my shield and defender,
my light and my salvation.

Clothed in Your strength,
armed with Your love,
illuminated by Your wisdom,
I will go forth,
fearless,
trusting in You, Lord Almighty.

All is well, and all is well, and all will be well.

Amen.

May the Gracious Spirit of peace be with you today and always,

Deborah 

Suggested Spiritual Excercise

What history can you draw upon to "keep the faith" in troubled times?