Last month, in an entry called wrong turns gone right, I wrote about a young woman (C.) whose fiance, J., is serving his country in Iraq. She past along our email addresses to J. so that he would know we are praying for him. (J. sent us the photo at left.)
This morning, J. sent an email to his prayer support group, sharing a near miss that happened a couple of days ago. It was frightening to read. I cannot begin to imagine what it was like to actually be there. It makes my own concerns seem small by comparison.
J. mentioned in his email that afterward one guy asked him what Psalm it was that J. is always reading. He answered that it was Psalm 91:
You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: "GOD, you’re my refuge.
I trust in you and I’m safe!"
That’s right — he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you —
under them you’re perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing — not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because GOD’s your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.
"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!"
J. didn’t say what translation he reads, but the above is from The Message paraphrase by Eugene Peterson. I plan to pray this Psalm for J. until he comes home. I plan to pray it while also thanking God for the many men and women who are serving their country well.
In the grip of His grace,