He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
“With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”
My grandmother once told me Psalm 91 was her father’s favorite. Because my grandfather died the day after I was born–a story for another time–it is one of my favorites, too. But, for some reason, I wrote “3/2/1989 (bad lesson)” in my baptism Bible next to this passage.
I think it had something to do about this boy I liked. We were friends, but he hadn’t been talking to me as much lately. He seemed more interested in talking to this other girl. I thought I could be interested in someone else, but, no, I decidedly liked him “more than a friend.” Apparently, when I read this scripture, it struck me hard. I knew the kind of boy I wanted to date, the kind of man I hoped to marry. I didn’t know if this boy fit those parameters. I knew I hoped he did.
I think that “bad lesson” had something to do with hoping for the wrong thing. I believe now, as I probably did then, that God wanted me to place my hope in Him and to hope God’s best for this boy regardless of my puerile feelings. “Bad lesson” was my resigned acknowledgement I got the message.
Reading this passage today, I smile. That boy and I are still friends. I see how God has fulfilled these words in his life. Even as he has endured some of life’s trouble, God has shielded and strengthened him. He has become a man of integrity, loyalty, and compassion. He is still the kind of boy I want to date. In fact, I did. We started dating March 7, 1989, five days after I wrote “bad lesson” next to Psalm 91. He is still the man I hoped to marry. I did, twenty years ago. He is still the man I want to grow old with. Today I rejoice how God’s Psalm 91 lesson and blessing made a young girl’s wish come true.