May 5, 2022 • Life for Leaders
Scripture Reading: Psalm 91:1-6, 11-12 (NRSV)
You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
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 he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
God is your refuge and fortress. God will protect you and deliver you.
The Psalms are filled with honest confessions of the pain and suffering of this life. Many times the psalm writers cry out to God in desperation, wondering if God has abandoned them forever.
Other psalms, however, affirm the goodness, presence, and care of God. Psalm 23 is a beloved example, of course, with its affirmation of God as our shepherd. Psalm 91 also celebrates God as a refuge for us, a place of safety, protection, and liberation.
As people who embrace all of Scripture as God’s Word, we hear God’s voice in all of the psalms. Thus, we live in the tension between the agonies of this life and the reality of God’s gracious presence and care. We know that, in the end, God’s goodness will prevail. God will grant us salvation beyond anything we can imagine. We celebrate this truth, even as we live in a world that can seem so confusing and sad.
Sometimes we go through things at work that are traumatic. We can be filled with fear. We worry about what’s going to happen to us and our families. In these times, Psalm 91 brings reassurance. It reminds us of God’s amazing grace. No matter how bleak things might seem, God is with us. God is good.
Gracious God, how good it is to live in your shelter, to be covered by your shadow. How reassuring to know that you are our refuge and fortress.
Thank you, dear Lord for covering me with you your pinions. Thank you for sheltering me under your wings, as a mother bird shelters her chicks.
Thank you, O God, for sending angels to raise me up, to keep me from destruction. Thank you for helping me to know that no matter what happens in this life, I belong to you forever. You have saved me through Jesus Christ, and one day I will know the fulness of your salvation.
In the meanwhile, Lord, when things are hard, when I face struggles at work, when I feel discouraged and run down, may I find refuge in you. Keep me safe. Shelter me in your love. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
God, your refuge and fortress, is worthy of your trust.
For Further Reflection
You may wish to read all of Psalm 91.
The themes of this psalm have been wonderfully put to music by Michael Jonas in his song, “On Eagles’ Wings.” You can find a delightful choral version here. And for something different, listen to Michael Crawford’s rendition of “On Eagles’ Wings.” Michael Crawford is most famous for his classic portrayal of the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera musical.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Hiding in God
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Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.
I got a chance to quote these verses when I was showing a property and started down a flight of wooden steps to a deck.
Well my hand came off the railing and the next few moments I don’t even remember—it was as if someone had shut down my entire system.
Then, just before I was going to hit the deck my eyes opened and I landed safely.
Everyone said it looked like I was going down the flight of steps in slow motion and they had never seen anything like it before.
All I could remember was a rush of wind and then I opened my eyes just as I turned over ready to hit the deck.
It was a miracle!