Trust In Our Refuge

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This verse always makes me think of the song, On Eagles Wings. Psalm 91, and the modern song that was composed from it, are about the incomprehensible comfort and security that comes from placing yourself under God’s protection. God’s love is a shelter from the storms of fear and doubt, the terrors of war and conflict that can arise in our lives. Only in God can we find the protection that we are looking for in this world.

Life is difficult enough, but without a deep and abiding faith in God, it can be a true hell. God’s protection is not passive either. It is not other-worldly. When we turn to him, we find mercy and forgiveness. God’s compassion for the poor and the weak is real. But so is this: “Christ has no body now but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now.” (Theresa of Avila) God is our shelter and our refuge, but he also calls us to provide this shelter and protection to our brothers and sisters, our neighbors and, yes, even our enemies in this world—today. When we have experienced his protection, how can we refuse to pass it on?

As the psalmist sings, “He is [our] refuge and [our] fortress, [our] God in whom [we] trust.” How often have we put our trust in earthly things, or people, and been disappointed, betrayed even. But God never disappoints, He is always faithful. With faith in him we can face the terrors of the night, or the arrows of anger, jealousy and bitterness, that our enemies shoot at us with courage. With His protection, and His grace, we can even turn our former enemies into our friends. Under his wings we can find comfort even from the natural fears of illness and our own mortality.

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As the psalmist suggests here, “If you say [in faith], ‘the Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.” The key word here, of course, is, “If.” That word implies that you have come to believe with your whole being that it is true, then God will, indeed, be your refuge and your fortress. This faith is the result of both God’s unlimited generosity and your humble and willing acceptance of that gift. It is the result in short of a loving relationship. Right relationship feeds right action and right action nourishes right relationship with God and with others. Right relationship saves everything. If I can put my trust in God, I will find that I will be able to do so with others. If I am trustworthy, I will also experience the trust of others and of God.

Lord, we put our trust in you as our refuge from life’s storms. We believe that under your wings we will find true shelter. Because we trust in your love for us, we know that when we turn to you in our troubles, you will rescue us. Increase our faith each day Lord, and help us to become shelters of your love for others so that they, too, may come to find their rest in you. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.