“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Psalm 91:11
“Because he loves me”, says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” Psalm 91:14
I was stopped, waiting to turn left into my neighborhood. People typically tend to fly down this main road so I’ve gotten into the habit of looking in my rearview mirror. I guess I am just making sure they will stop.
On this particular day, I looked up again. And I noticed what I hoped I would never see. This car was flying and had no plans to stop. I tightened my grip on the steering wheel and braced for impact. But there was this split second that I took my foot off the brake and my car slightly moved forward and then put my foot on the brake again.
This car somehow managed to not hit me. It made its way slowly around the right side of my car. It literally hugged the side of my car but never once did it touch it. Not once. All I could do was watch as this driver made his way around me without ever hitting me.
Now, my first reaction was not a pleasant one. I was super mad at the driver who got distracted enough to not pay attention to my car with its left turn signal on. I was yelling in my car! Good thing I was alone.
But then my next reaction was a sigh of relief and gratefulness. Had this car hit me, I probably would have been sent into the oncoming traffic. There is no telling what would have happened.
I firmly believe that God protected me that day. He sent His angels to guard me. I believe that it was an angel who took my foot off the brake so that I could move forward just a little bit. I think this small amount of feet gave the driver more time to stop and graze the side of my car instead of hitting it hard from behind. The Lord had His hand of protection around me that day.
Psalm 91 is a beautiful Psalm of protection. Verse after verse you will find the comforting words that God will always protect us. I love the imagery in verse 4 when it says that “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” I can just picture the arms of God as these massive wings that surround us and shelter us; the place we can go to find refuge.
I have this beautiful prayer shawl at home that was made by the women at my church and given to me when I first came on staff. This shawl was crafted by talented women who prayed for me while they were making it. Then when it was presented to me a sweet woman wrapped me in it and prayed over me. It was an amazing moment where I could feel the wings of God over me. I have this shawl at home and when I need to physically feel God’s arms and His wings, I wrap that shawl around me and pray. In those moments I can feel the warmth of His wings and know that I am protected.
In Psalm 91, there are three things the psalmist talks about in connection with protection from the Lord. The first is found in verse 14 where God says that He will protect those who acknowledge His name. First and foremost we must recognize God and who He is. Not as some genie in a bottle who will grant our wishes. Not as someone who we come to only in the bad times and forget about in the good times. No, we must acknowledge God all the time. Give Him the praise and glory for all things. Give Him the honor He deserves all the time. Give Him our whole heart and follow Him. Acknowledge His name and who He is.
The next thing is that we must dwell in Him. Verse one says that “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Dwelling in the Lord means to be aware of His presence and spend time with Him. And we need to do this consistently. We should not be sometimes dwelling, but need to make an effort to continually dwell in His presence. Dwelling in His shelter involves praying and reading His Word. Stay close to the Lord and rest in the shadow of Him.
Finally, we need to be trusting the Lord. I love what the psalmist says in verse 2 of this chapter: “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'” Proclaim this! Shout it from the mountaintops! “HE IS MY REFUGE AND MY FORTRESS, MY GOD IN WHOM I TRUST.” There’s something about repeating this, and maybe doing so loudly, that helps us put our trust in the Lord. Give your need over to Him and then just trust. Trust that He will protect you. Once you fully trust Him then you can calmly rest under the shadow of His wings.
God promises to protect us. But why is it so hard to believe in this promise? Why can’t we let go and let God be our refuge, our protector?
Every day is a new day. A new day to acknowledge, dwell, and trust in the Lord. Don’t give up because you think you can’t do any of those things. Work at it so that then you will find rest and “will be covered with His feathers.”
Prayer: Most High God, thank You for the promise to always protect us. Help us to daily dwell in Your presence, to daily acknowledge Your mighty name, and to daily put our trust in You. Father, you know sometimes it’s hard for us to do these things, but we ask that You will help us make these things a priority so that then we can fully rest and feel Your protection. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Name a time when you have felt God’s protection.
- What can you do better in your daily life to be able to rest in Him?
- Write down some ways you can acknowledge God in your life.