Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:21-26 NIV
Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust — there may yet be hope. Lamentations 3:28-29 NIV
In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues. Psalm 31:20 NIV
Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:23-24 NIV
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children Psalm 103:17 NIV
This week I learned about Brother Lawrence, a simple monk who learned to experience the presence of God in his everyday, mundane, normal activities working in the kitchen of his Carmelite monastery in France in the 17th century. He learned to talk to God, to seek and to know God’s presence while cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning the floor. Brother Lawrence’s life was not easy or pain-free, but his God-given eternal perspective allowed him to experience God’s presence in the midst of every season of his life. His teaching is found in a book called The Practice of the Presence of God.
Can we experience God’s presence in the midst of sorrow, pain and loss? Psalm 91 gives us a picture of how we can do this. Read Psalm 91 in your favorite translation. Once you have read it through, look for the conversation that takes place between the Psalmist and God. Notice the action words in this psalm. Look at the actions we are told to take and the actions God has taken or will take. Several times we are told to call on God, and to dwell, to rest and to trust in God. The Lord promises to shelter, to shield, to provide refuge, to be faithful, to guard, to lift us up, to rescue and to protect us. There are so many incredible promises of God’s presence in this Psalm!
Today set aside some time to rest, to dwell, to sit in the shelter of Most High. Perhaps take a walk and pray, listen to worship music, or think about the verses in Psalm 91 as you do an ordinary daily task. Remember God’s promise, “He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him,” Psalm 91:15. God’s promise to Joshua was, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you, Joshua 1:5. This promise is for us too. Whatever loss we are dealing with, God is with us, he is our fortress, our shield, our refuge. Make a choice to dwell there, to rest there, to get an eternal perspective from our God who is with us, always. Allow Him to comfort you, to hold you and to demonstrate his faithfulness to you.
By Grace Hunter