The Promise of The Story

He who dwells in the shelter of the
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.

Surely He will save you from the
fowler’s snare
and from the deadly
pestilence.
He will cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you will find
refuge;
His faithfulness will be your
shield and rampart (Psalm 91:1-4).

Rest. Refuge. Fortress. Shield. Rampart.

It’s easy to read these verses and understand them to mean that nothing bad will happen to us if we trust God. But we all know people and perhaps have been the person who has been whammed by life’s disasters even when we are walking daily with our Lord.

However, if we read Psalm 91:1-4 carefully, we realize that the battle wages on around the psalmist. There is a fowler’s snare and deadly pestilence, but there is a place of refuge and rest he runs to in the midst of the trouble.

The psalmist desires to dwell, to live in the shadow of the Most High because he knows that this is the only place of strength in trials. This is where he finds peace and comfort.

Yesterday I wrote about living this year expectantly, not focused on the past or the present problems but focused on the promises of God. Psalm 91 is one of those promises.

I have a confession. For years I have given away, stored in the garage, and perhaps even trashed (sorry that might be blasphemous) books entitled “The Promises of God.” You know, those books you can buy for a dollar at the book store that have nothing but Scripture under different headings like: Needing peace, provision, comfort, wisdom, healing etc. They’ve bugged me. I’m not sure why.

I believe in the power of the Word of God. I do hold onto His promises, but if I really dig down deep I think I struggle with these books of promises because they just sound or feel trite to me. Me of little faith. How can a person believe in Scripture yet not like these wonderful little books? Yet even as I write these questions, I know part of the answer:

I do not know what to do when a particular Scripture/promise does not seem to happen. When the wish is not granted by the magic genie verse in the book.

I know God is not a magic genie. Nor is He a God who can be pinned down and dissected to be understood by the very creatures He created. Yet we try to do it all the time. Books are written every day; doctrines are established and adopted by churches because we so desperately want to figure out the God of the universe.

This year (well, for today) I think I’m going to try to focus more on the story and less on the word-for-word. Don’t get me wrong; I know I’ve got to have both. I do believe in the divine inspiration, Truth and power of the Bible, but I’m also convinced that we humans often mess it up. Read it wrong. Interpret it badly.

My shelter cannot be in someone’s doctrine or theology. My shelter cannot be in my understanding of a single verse from the Bible. It has to be in my relationship with the Living, uncomprehendable God who came to this earth as Jesus. The image of the invisible God. My shield and rampart in times of trouble. Refuge. Rest.

This is where I want to camp. In the Promise of The Story.

Where are you living today? How’s that working out for you?

Much grace and peace,
andy

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