Monday, 7 September 2020

My Dwelling Place

One evening in early September 2020 I found myself reading through Psalm 91 and I felt that the words in these verses spoke very powerfully into my life and the situation going on around me. At this point, the Covid-19 pandemic had been rumbling on for seven months and it was becoming more and more apparent how much it was affecting everyone in their daily lives.

One thing I really saw a huge increase of was the level of fear in many people and how this was influencing practically every decision they now made. I could see the affect it was having on mental and physical health, not only in my own life but also in the lives of countless others and the toll it was taking on everyone as stress levels continued to rise.

As I began to read through Psalm 91 one evening during this time, I suddenly felt like the words were a very direct message to my heart, straight from the Lord. The imagery in the first two lines was extremely powerful as it reads,

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Straight away I thought, “Yes! I dwell in the shadow of the Almighty! Not the shadow of fear!” As I continued to read through the Psalm, the words became more and more relevant. Verses 2-3 read,

“I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.”

Verse 6 even went on to refer to a “pestilence that walks in darkness” and I thought how appropriate this was in relation to the very real threat of Covid-19 which travels around unseen from person to person. Of course I wasn’t taking this Psalm as a guarantee that as a Christian I would be immune to the virus as living a completely healthy life isn’t something God ever promised us. I had heard of people in my own life who had contracted the illness and fought through it, by God’s grace. I also knew of some people who hadn’t been able to fight it off however, so was in no way undermining the seriousness of the illness.

What the Holy Spirit really pressed upon my heart that evening was that I wasn’t to be overcome and ruled by the fear of this bug. I suddenly had a real peace in my heart as I meditated on the powerful, liberating truths for the Christian that are highlighted in these verses and I soon found myself feeling inspired to write my poem, “My Dwelling Place.”

I hope and pray that these words can help us have a good perspective on whatever force may be threatening or challenging our inner peace today. May we always dwell in the calming presence of Jesus and find rest for our hearts and minds as we remember He is sovereign over our lives.

My Dwelling Place is the shadow of the Almighty,
I do not dwell in the shadow of fear!
I will say of the Lord, “He’s my Refuge and Fortress!
In Him I will trust when evil draws near.”

He shall deliver me, guard and protect me,
He will preserve me from what the day brings.
He is my Shield, my Strength and my Buckler!
My soul will take shelter under His wings.

Heaven forbid that I tremble in terror!
I’ll not be afraid of the horrors by night,
Nor of diseases that walk in the darkness.
Heaven forbid I should cower in fright!

Let my heart never forget who my God is,
Lest I be utterly ruled by this strife!
Heaven forbid I be governed by worry
And living like Christ is not God of my life!

Who is this who speaks words without knowledge?
My days have been numbered and lie in His hand!
Foolish and flippant is not my intention
But nothing will thwart what my Saviour has planned!

He has declared He is with me in trouble,
He has declared that I’m never alone!
May I be confident, trusting in Jesus,
Using my days ’til it’s time to go Home.

For sure as the sun will keep rising and setting,
There will come a day when Christ calls my name.
Let His voice find me declaring His glory!
To live is Christ and to die is gain!

My Dwelling Place is the shadow of the Almighty,
My salvation lies with El Shaddai!
Resting in Christ who’s eternally Sovereign,
I dwell in the arms of the Lord God Most High!

Psalm 121:1-8
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.”

2 Timothy 1:12
“For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”

Proverbs 3:25-26
“Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.”

Download a PDF of this poem to keep and share