The 23rd Psalm has so much wisdom. We seldom stop to think about it. We just recite it because we have done it so often. Tonight I have been thinking about this part of it.
Psalm 23: 4 NRSV
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
or from The Message
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
I have always wondered about the rod and staff. In our time that image didn’t mean much. Now I see it as someone strong and caring walking with me….someone who will keep me safe no matter what. Walking with God I have no fear.
He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.
Finding calm in the midst of a storm is not easy. For those who experienced Dorian know this for certain. But Jesus calmed the storm. Just his words did the job. Resting in the promises of Jesus is the way to find the calm. He has told us not to worry. God is in charge. Be still and be calm.
As we sit and wait to see what Hurricane Dorian will do I drew on one of the many verses in the Bible that tells us to rest in the arms of God. It is amazing how many verses remind us that God is with us at all times.
do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
When I was a choir director I was lucky to have a choir who could do this version of Psalm 46. I love the psalm and this version just lifts me up. I hope you can take the words to heart.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
I really wish that I were never afraid. Fear can take over when something goes wrong. We have so many things to fear: poverty, homelessness, crime, disease.
We could spend each day cowering in our homes afraid to go out. Some people do. But God doesn’t want us to live like that. He has given us his peace. All we have to do is take it. Sounds easy but it never is.
Prayer: Father and Mother of us all, remind us that we are your children and you wish only good for us. Help us to grasp onto your promises and your peace and never let go. Amen
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
Some prayers begin “Intimate, infinite God. God is both with us every moment and a God beyond our understanding. He is always there for us. There is always help at hand. Depend on it!
Amazing God, you are always present for us during the good and the bad. Thank you for loving us so much. AMEN
This has been a difficult time for me but God’s grace is always with us. What a wonderful verse to understand that God understands our weaknesses and continues to hold us with his love.
Loving God, we are so blessed that you are always with us. We can feel your grace and love in the most difficult times. AMEN
Prayer is essentially about making the heart strong so that fear cannot penetrate there. ————-Matthew Fox
The more that we spend time with God the more he becomes our home. Home with God is our safe place. When we are held in his countenance we are secure. Fear is let go as we rest in his arms. Pray, pray, pray, not always with words. Silence with God is prayer too.
Intimate God, if we come to you and ask to dwell with you we will be in a safe place. That safety can remove fear. AMEN