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.” Psalm 91-:1-2  

And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. I John 5:14  

The world is a scary place sometimes. There is a global pandemic, although many of us can be vaccinated in many parts of the world that is not true. Many countries are involved in wars, sometimes with groups in their own countries. There are many who aren’t able to afford housing – or use all their money for housing leaving none for food and medical care. We also may be fearful of speaking out, of doing something to effect change in our society. Our fear may be of approaching legislators and others who can actually enact some laws that will make changes.    

The psalmist certainly knew of all the fears people could have. Yet he writes of the Lord who will shelter us, who actually lives with us. We can live with God, or as the psalmist says – abide in the shadow of the almighty. This creator God who made everything and is in control of everything is actually approachable. We don’t have a God who created the world and then went off to rest for more than a day. He is not remote from our present lives. God is right here with us in our world, Jesus lived among people on earth, the holy Spirit remains with us.   

In I John we see that whatever we ask of God, he hears us. He may not grant our wish as we think He should, but He does hear us. We can be bold enough to talk to God, to know that we can dwell with God, that He is our refuge and our fortress. What a wonderful promise we have from a God that truly loves each and every one of us. When we are afraid of something we know we have a refuge in our Savior.   

The hymn On Eagles wings uses the words of this Psalm.  Written by Rev. Michael Joncas after the death of a friend’s father. The chorus : 

“And he will raise you up on eagle’s wings 

Bear you on the breath of dawn 

Make you to shine like the sun 

And hold you in the palm of his hand.”  

Defender of the defenseless, hear our prayer. Safeguard the vulnerable in our society from the predators that seek to exploit them. Provide a refuge for all who need shelter, grant courage to those who face hardship, and spiritually feed all those in despair. Help us to trust you as our strong fortress in all things. Give us boldness to ask for anything and to live in the goodness of your shadow. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

Chris Gabel