Church Blogs

Tragedy and Psalm 91
May 12, 2016 @ 1:12 PM by: Jennifer Frank

Tragedy and Psalm 91

by Pastor Abby Davidson

I remember sitting in a seminary class on Pastoral crisis counselling when I received a text from my sister. One of our childhood friends had ended his life. I sat through the remainder of the class somewhat dazed and then wandered out as the professor wrapped up her lecture. I didn’t know what to do. My mind was racing with questions.

Over the past couple of weeks two of our families here at Blythwood have been affected by the suicide of someone close to them. And in the last few weeks we’ve been hearing about the many suicide attempts happening up north in Attawapiskat. Hearing these stories leaves us with a lot of questions, but one question that stands out to me is How do I trust God through this? We know that our God doesn’t shy away from suffering. He enters into it fully and willingly. We also know that we can lean on him when the sorrows of life seem overwhelming. Reading the psalms when tragedy strikes always gives me comfort.  One of my favourite psalms is Psalm 91 because it outlines the promises God gives us during difficult times.

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

Take comfort in God’s presence as he shades you from the harsh realities of life without him. He promises that you will find rest in his presence.

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

God is not only a safe place to reside but a fortress that keeps danger away.

Surely he will save you… his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

God’s faithfulness to us surrounds us as a rampart (think giant wall) surrounds a castle. Anything that comes our way has to go through him first.

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

This is a pretty gruesome picture. We know there will be terror, danger, sickness, and grief and these evils will come at all hours of the day of night yet we need not fear them.

A thousand may fall at your side…but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

Be confident that whatever danger you see cannot touch you. Even though you can see suffering happening all around you, know that you are safe in the arms of your Father.

If you say “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the most high your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

Make God your refuge and your dwelling place. When troubles overwhelm you run to him. When the sorrow is too heavy to bear, let him bear it for you.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in your ways…

There are powers of good and evil at work all the time. You have the power of God on your side.

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

You will have victory over any threat that crosses your path.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Call on God and he will answer you. He will bless you with long life and more importantly you will experience life with him!

These are the promises of God that we can cling to when we encounter pain and suffering. God is with us, he has conquered and he is at work in the world. We may not be able to make sense of the pain we experience, but we can rest and trust that God will carry us through it. God is on our side.