Psalm 55:1-8 (NRSV)

1 Give ear to my prayer, O God; do not hide yourself from my supplication. 2 Attend to me, and answer me; I am troubled in my complaint. I am distraught 3 by the noise of the enemy, because of the clamor of the wicked. For they bring  trouble upon me, and in anger they cherish enmity against me. 4 My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5 Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. 6 And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; 7 truly, I would flee far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; (Selah) 8 I would hurry to find a shelter for myself from the raging wind and tempest.”

Psalm 55:8 (NRSV)

8 I would hurry to find a shelter for myself from the raging wind and tempest.”   

DEVOTION – Sharon Braner (Oklahoma)

When I was a child, my family sought shelter in the root cellar when tornadoes approached our area.  The cellar was hollowed out of the earth behind our house, and wooden supports held the dirt walls in place.  Flush with the ground, its hinged door led to three concrete steps down.  Many vegetables and bins filled with potatoes.  We sometimes waited in the dark for hours for relief from the dangerous lighting, wind, and rain.  A strong hiding place is absolutely necessary for survival when tornadoes roar overhead.

A hiding place is critical during other storms life brings as well:  terminal illness, wayward children, financial downturns, and unending conflict.  At these times, a dangerous and debilitating feat can roar through our hearts and minds.

In Psalm 32:7 the psalmist addresses God as “my hiding place,” reminding us that God alone is our spiritual and emotional shelter.  When fear interrupts our lives and drives up to hide in dark despair, God comforts, strengthens, and calms our soul.  Sometimes God graciously removes the storm; but always God can remove our doubt and fear when we wait, pray, and seek God’s face.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: When I am afraid, I can pray and trust God’s promises.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you that we can be relieved of our fear because of the courage you provide when we spend time with you.  Amen.