Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Psalm 91:9-16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge,[a]
the Most High your dwelling place,
10 no evil shall befall you,
no scourge come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder,
the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.
14 Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name.
15 When they call to me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honor them.
16 With long life I will satisfy them,
and show them my salvation.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Bad things happen to good people. Everyone knows that. Good, faithful, honest, hard-working, loving, committed—you can plug in any adjective here you want—people get sick, get hurt, and experience suffering. So, what are we to make of these words of the psalmist?
I want to back up a few verses to where the psalmist says, “You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday.” For me, I can only make sense of this as confidence, trust, and hope in the face of whatever it is that is most fearful. For me to recite this psalm with integrity is to understand that God is present giving me strength and confidence at night, in pestilence (as we are experiencing now), and in the heat of the day.
The psalmist has his catalogue of threats: darkness, violence, pestilence, destruction, falling, and even lions and snakes. The apostle Paul had his catalogue of threats, too: hardship, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, life, angels, rulers, things present, things to come, powers, height, and depth. Then, Paul declares that none of those things “nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Bad things may certainly happen, but they cannot separate us from God’s love. Tragedy may indeed strike, but we will not face “the terror of the night” alone.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster