Psalm for a New Year
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High with rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1
The rough landscape thorny bushes was repetitive. For hours we jostled and bounced in the four wheel drive jeep through the African bush. Now were returning home.
“Look!” our African friend pointed ahead. He spotted a rare antelope.
“Let’s get out to get a picture,” said our missionary friend.
The three men –the missionary, the African and my husband– got out of the vehicle to adventure. Cautiously and quietly they walked toward the scraggly trees and low thorny bushes to find the elusive animal, anticipating getting a National Geographic quality photo.
I climbed out of the vehicle to watch, praying they would be safe. Stepping into the vastness of the African bush was incredible. Dusty, sandy soil blew across the ruts of the dirt road. The sounds of the evening creatures floated on the wind. As the sun set, the light blue sky turned a darker shade, with streaks of pink radiating across it. Although I stood in a desert, not far ahead was a mountain.The shadow of the mountain stretched across the scrub bushes.
The men cautiously moved around to catch a glimpse of the elusive animal. Soon they returned, disappointed for not having seen it. Dusk made it harder to see. Other animals– the larger ones– would be prowling soon.
Climbing back into the jeep, we gladly sought refuge from the wilderness. It felt safe to be together again, buckled in the refuge of the vehicle. There was a calmness in the mountain’s shadow, as it brought relief to the desert land. The great shadow of the mountain claimed the landscape as we drove off.
Often in the Bible, the wilderness is a place of transition and testing, of searching for God. The people had to learn deeper trust in God’s promises. They had to learn to rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
With the start of a new year, I hope you will read Psalm 91 to find a refuge for your soul. Offer thanks for God’s sheltering care and ask Him to increase your trust in the days and months ahead.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”