I went to bed on Tuesday night whooped. Just slap worn out. There was nothing about the day that was extraordinarily exhausting. But, I could not contend with the onslaught of ‘what ifs’ that kept coming my way. Radio, TV, School emails and newsletters all letting me know they have no idea what is coming either.

What if Covid…? What if the President…? What if the Economy…? What if Marriage…?

What if Kids…? What if…? What if…? What if…?

I am usually a let’s engage and conquer type of guy, but last night after listening to myself mumble incoherently about life, I decided to be a tuck-in and slumber kind of guy. This morning, I woke up refreshed, remembering that God’s mercy is new every day, and just like that, my giddyup was back, and I was ready to face the world again only to read a message about a friend’s dad who just had a stroke. Ugh. Life is so hard. This friend does not have a relationship with Christ, and it made me think how the rest and refresh I was given the night before must be near impossible for him to find right now.

This year, Psalm 91 has been my go to when I need a reset. Take a moment to read it with me.

Psalm 91

1 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 

4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 

5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 

8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 

9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 

10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 

12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 

13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra, you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 

14 “Because he / she loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 

16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

If you read all 16 verses, I think you would agree with me that there is power in God’s promises to His people. The Message version ends even better.

 It says, “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!” 

A party? Really?! I could use one of those about now. Where was that party verse in my Catholic Bible as a kid? Who am I kidding? I was too young and dumb to read back then. But seriously, take a closer look at that chapter to find the answers to your ‘what ifs’.

Too anxious to sleep? Meditate on verse 5.

Worried about Covid? Take a dose of verse 6.

Need justice? March over to verse 8. 

Health issues? Check out verse 16. 

Wanna have a party? Heck, let’s dance over to verse 15 together.

John 10:10 says the thief comes to steal our peace, and Jesus comes to give us abundance. I believe we just got a glimpse of true abundance. God has already answered all of the ‘what ifs’ we have…and ever will have. It’s time to engage and conquer once again.

We will get through this together!

In His service and at yours!


Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

4 thoughts on “Refuge

  1. The first time I read this Psalm in it’s entirety was when I was pregnant with our first child in 2003 and Joe was getting ready to go overseas after being activated for the Air Force Reserves… We had a lot of “what ifs” at that time and this Psalm was very comforting. It has brought me peace many times since then.

    Liked by 1 person

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