Saturday, March 9      Psalm 91:1-2, 4-16    Rev. Steve Heyduck

Living in the Most High’s shelter, camping in the Almighty’s shade, 2 I say to the Lord, “You are my refuge, my stronghold! You are my God—the one I trust!”

4 God will protect you with his pinions; you’ll find refuge under his wings. His faithfulness is a protective shield. 5 Don’t be afraid of terrors at night, arrows that fly in daylight, 6 or sickness that prowls in the dark, destruction that ravages at noontime.7 Even if one thousand people fall dead next to you, ten thousand right beside you— it won’t happen to you. 8 Just look with your eyes, and you will see the wicked punished. 9 Because you’ve made the Lord my refuge,  the Most High, your place of residence— 10  no evil will happen to you; no disease will come close to your tent.11 Because he will order his messengers to help you, to protect you wherever you go. 12 They will carry you with their own hands so you don’t bruise your foot on a stone. 13 You’ll march on top of lions and vipers; you’ll trample young lions and serpents underfoot. 14 God says,[a] “Because you are devoted to me, I’ll rescue you. I’ll protect you because you know my name. 15 Whenever you cry out to me, I’ll answer.  I’ll be with you in troubling times.  I’ll save you and glorify you.
16 I’ll fill you full with old age.  I’ll show you my salvation.”

Part of learning how to catch a baseball was self-protection for me. If the ball was coming toward my body, I wanted to get that thick leather glove in front of it so it wouldn’t hit me and hurt me.

So you can imagine my surprise when, as a 4th grader, I started playing catcher. Not only was the ball coming at me pretty fast, but another person was standing close to me and ready to swing a bat right over my head!

My playing catcher started innocently. I had been warming up a pitcher in practice, and the coach asked me if I’d keep it up with a batter in the picture. I never looked back. It took me a couple of weeks to realize I wasn’t afraid of the bat, the batter, or the ball hurling directly at my face with every pitch.

I think it worked because my coach told me I could do it, and I didn’t know enough not to believe him. My coach was my advocate for doing something I didn’t know I could do.

God really is on my side! I don’t mean God takes my side in arguments. Rather, like I think the Psalmist recognizes in Psalm 91, God is FOR me. God is my advocate.

And, yes, God is FOR you. God is YOUR advocate.

What could our lives look like if we really trusted God? What would you be willing to do, or to try, if you really, fully accepted that God is FOR you?

Prayer: God, we pray for your protection.