Wet Rag

Psalm 91:11-12 “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands . . .”

Observation: The whole of Psalm 91 is one of the most comforting in all Scripture. The promise is simple: If I will but dwell in Christ, I will be protected, hidden from harm. (v. 9) The reason I can know this is certain is found in today’s verse: “because He will command His angels . . .”

Application: Before looking closer at these commanded angels, I ought first to examine the basic premise of the passage. God says if I make Him my refuge, then “. . . no harm will befall . . . no disaster will come near . . .” (v. 10)

Oh really? How believable is that? The mind has unrelenting capacity to recall catalogued wrongs, catastrophes stretching to the far horizon of memories past. As if that isn’t enough, I am also well practiced in constructing scenarios of future devastation that can leave me quaking. If I go to those places in my mind, if I dwell there, then the promise of no harm befalling me seems limp as a wet rag.

But that’s the real problem, isn’t it? If I dwell on past pain and future fears I am not dwelling in Him. It is impossible to occupy two dwellings at once. That place of refuge is something I must assertively enter; it requires an act of will to firmly, wholly, constantly fix my mind, will and emotions upon Him. Having finally succeeded in that, I find that He, too, has acted assertively; He has met me there, extending Himself on my behalf; I find Him welcoming as a comfortable chair near winter’s fire.

Resting thus in Him, warmed by His reassuring embrace, it is possible to then consider the benefits of His disciplines. If I will but make Him my dwelling place I am able to gain His perspective over the toughest of challenges. Then comes an astonishing revelation: those places of devastation and loss then become like a well-tended garden, a place of growth and maturity, even beauty I could never have otherwise attained.

And see His promise concerning my assigned angels: that they would lift me in their hands. That’s what I need; that’s what my heart longs for: to be lifted lovingly, tenderly, as a mother lifts her nursing babe. These are not warring angels charging in with eyes blazing, swords brandished overhead to fend off harm. (Could life in such a cocoon ever be truly satisfying?) No, these angels have a different purpose altogether: to guard me, to protect me, enabling me to know the Father’s love at depths more profound than ever before.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the provision You have made for me, a hiding place where I can dwell securely no matter life’s barbs. Thank You that Your commanded angels are always at the ready, waiting merely for my signal of desire to dwell in You.

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