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. The 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 soon 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. In Jesus’ name, Amen

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