by Jamie Bonnema
I won’t be afraid anymore of the terrors by night
Or the arrow that flies by day
And though a thousand may fall at my side
And though ten thousand may fall
In Him I’ll put all my trust
I woke up this morning, took a shower, and put on my favorite cozy flannel shirt and jeans. I stepped outside to feed my furry babies—something I always look forward to. Everything had been kissed by rain last night, and I was reminded that summer will soon be on its way to us. I headed to the kitchen with chocolate chip pumpkin muffins on my mind, intending to get them done before the kids awoke. I was greeted in the kitchen with a hug from my husband, and we chatted about our plans for the day.
I threw together the muffins, popped them in the oven, and headed straight to my computer with a song on my mind: Psalm 91 by Lincoln Brewster. I have not listened to Lincoln Brewster for many, many years (that I am aware of), and yet these words started playing in my head:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide in the shadow.
No matter what may be going on across the globe, I know where I dwell. When I take refuge in Him, He provides my secure defense. I am safe. I need not worry. Just like a baby bird under the shadow of its mother’s wing, I am protected from the storm by my Father.
Most of what we see on social media and in the news right now is very concerning, at both ends. On the one hand, it seems like bad news is everywhere. Speculating on the unknown can cause anxiety and fear. An adequate amount of information can be helpful so that we are properly prepared. But seeking an over-abundance of news, social media content, and opinions can lead to being consumed by fear. Next we’re desperate for control, and unwise choices (and more worry) are around the corner. On the other hand, we see that many messages downplaying the current situation are being conveyed with anger, blame, or ridicule. It even seems there is a competition to see who can do the best job of putting others down. Life feels different, and we can’t help but let our thoughts wander to try to make sense of it all.
So what are we to do with all this information and the mixed messages? Where do we turn when so many questions arise in our heads and threaten our sense of peace?
We turn to God. He is the only One who actually knows the complete picture, the outcome, and the ripple effects. He knows each heart, each intention, and each concern behind every action. He knows it all, and He has given us the words we need when we don’t know what to believe. His message always stays the same, whether we are in periods of uncertainty or seasons of celebration. His word is constant and does not bend with the economy, culture, pandemic, or fill-in-the-blank. We know where we can turn, and we know from where our protection comes, despite the fear that is lurking behind an update, an empty store shelf, a missing paycheck, cancelled events, and closed establishments.
I will hide in Your wings always
Your angels stand by to keep me in all my ways
And though a thousand may fall at my side
I will say in Him I trust
My hope is that we will hide His truths in our hearts and put a song on our lips in response to the current situation. We will put the goodness back in our minds, in front of all the media, and trust in the God who created it all. We will use this time to draw near to Him, to take captive every thought, and to be a light to those who do not yet have the security of knowing Him. We will do our part to remain prepared for life to be always changing, while having the confidence that our hope is in Christ and not in the world.
*The lyrics referred to in this article by Lincoln Brewster, in his Psalm 91 song, reflect an expression of the message of the Psalm. I encourage you to read all of Psalm 91 in the Bible for completeness of the passage and accuracy of the verses. Knowing God’s Word makes it more available to us just when we need it.
Jamie Bonnema is a former youth treatment counselor for residential care, education, and wilderness programs. She is a married mother of four children, works from home with a nutrigenomics company, enjoys working with GCA in various roles, and loves outdoor recreation.