Today's Lectionary Text
You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
One of my favorite TV shows is “Seal Team,” a look into the lives of a team of Navy seals whose job it is to train for and execute dangerous missions all over the world. They can be called up on a moment’s notice to deploy, not knowing if they will return safely to their families. One of my favorite characters is Ray, who is the No. 2 and is often the first in the door or into the line of fire. He often quotes the first two verses of this beautiful Psalm as his prayer of protection going into battle.
Last season he had a crisis of faith on the show (stop me if you’ve seen this one) when he was put into a position where he felt he had compromised his beliefs. He was lost for a while and became angry with himself and with God, until one mission where he was separated from his team, alone in enemy territory running and fighting for his life. His position was compromised by a Muslim woman whom he held captive for a while. When he threatened to kill her, she began to pray. Confronted by her faith, he could not bring himself to do what seemed necessary to save his own life. So, he set her free and ran with the enemy on his heels. When there seemed to be no way out, he dropped to his knees at the top of a hill and surrendered – not to the enemy, but to God – he once again repeated his life verses: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty ...”
Of course, he was rescued by his team just in the nick of time. He is a main character after all! I was reminded, though, of how often we wait to call on God until we have exhausted all our other resources. Why don’t we run to God first, or better yet, never leave the shelter of the Most High? Just read all the promises of God that follow verses 1 and 2 in the passage: God will be our spiritual refuge and fortress, deliver, protect and cover us. We will not be afraid of anything! God will answer when we call and be with us in trouble, rescue us and honor us. God will give us long life and salvation! Let’s be quick to trust in God, live in the shelter of the Most High and abide in the shadow of the Almighty!
Congregational Excellence administrative assistant
*Devotion originally published 9/29/2019
Prayer for Reflection
Most High, Almighty God, help us to be quick to seek you in every situation, not just in times of trouble. May we realize that when we face trouble and dangers in the physical world and in the spiritual realm, your love and presence will sustain us now and forever. Thank you for your faithfulness, for being our refuge and protector when we face fear, and for the salvation you provide through the One who covers and redeems us. Amen!
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