Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! Psalm 91: 5-13 NLT
My ten-year old is terrified of going down into our basement at night. It reminds me of when he was about 4 or 5 and he was scared of the dark at bedtime. I can't make too much fun of him, however, because I have my own moments of terror. I am sure you do as well. Ours may not have to do with a dark basement but certainly a darkly lit parking lot or even a negative report from our doctor can have us quaking in our boots.
The psalmist is trying to alleviate our fears. No matter what happens: night terrors, weapons aimed at us, dreadful diseases, natural disasters, people falling down around you -- God is your shelter, your home, your place of protection. Although, like Jesus, we cannot depend on God to remove every danger from our lives, we can depend on God to be with us, keep us going and give us strength. And even when death comes near, we are not to fear but to trust in God's promises of salvation.
God, you are my refuge, my shelter, my weapon against terror. I give you my trust and open my eyes to you. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Amelia G. Sims