Psalm 91:1–2, 9–16 (NRSV)
Verse 1You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Verse 2will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."
Verse 9Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place,
Verse 10no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.
Verse 11For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
Verse 12On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
Verse 13You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.
Verse 14Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.
Verse 15When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them.
Verse 16With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.
Whenever I enter the season of Lent, I feel a bit of hesitation in my body and spirit. Am I really up for this season of repentance and renewal? Wouldn't it be easier to just sit it out this year? When I open myself to God's call in this way, something painful always rises to the surface. Martin Luther was familiar with this pattern and reminds us that the devil is a tricky creature who can't stand our faithfulness to God. When we seek God and resist the lies of the world, we can expect those lies to fight back.
Today's psalm, with its reminders of God's faithfulness, is a comfort for me as we enter this season. Take heart, dear one! Neither the lies of the world nor the painful truths you uncover can hurt you when the Lord is your refuge. "Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name."
Lord Jesus, come to my aid. Give me courage in the face of the tasks you've given me to do, and protect me against the forces or situations that would keep me from you. I trust you. Amen.